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Published:  23 July, 2008

Beringer Blass Wine Estates Limited (BBWE), part of the Foster's Group, has filed an appeal in Australia's Federal Court against the decision of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) to exclude Robertson's Well from the Coonawarra region (see Harpers, 12 October). Beringer Blass believes that: In the case of the Robertson's Well vineyard, critical evidence was overlooked in relation to the use of a label and descriptor which directly link the wine and the Robertson's Well vineyard with the Coonawarra region, and the objective connections Robertson's Well has and has had with the region for many years.' BBWE claims that Robertson's Well has an established reputation as both a Coonawarra wine and as a Coonawarra vineyard. The company believes that it meets all the criteria set out by the AAT for inclusion within the new Coonawarra boundary. The appeal will prolong a dispute that dates back to 1984. When the AAT made its ruling on 5 October 2001, many in the Coonawarra hoped that the matter was settled, although a joint statement by the Coonawarra Vignerons Association and the Coonawarra Grapegrowers Association seemed to leave the door open to appeals by companies such as Beringer Blass and Riddoch Estate. The latter may now follow Beringer Blass into the Federal Court.