Southern comfort

THE local wine industry caught my attention about five or six years ago.

One thing that sparked my interest was the big growth in tax-effective investments.

So, when former Heytesbury chief Darrel Jarvis launched such a product three years ago, I was very interested in his ideas.

Many readers will be familiar with the Palandri operation he founded.

Some of that familiarity will be from comments made by Mr Jarvis about the way he believes the wine business is run.

He blames the media for the headlines that followed, but he does not back away from comments which upset many of his southern neighbours.

But that was not the only controversial thing about Palandri.

Using an unusual business model, the group is trying to become a major wine player in the fraction of the time it has taken other big Australian producers.

The ambitious group is trying to short-circuit the traditional route to success, largely through heavy marketing.

This methodology has its detractors but even the worst critics are willing to admit the jury is out.

However, their concerns gain some currency when it becomes difficult to obtain information.

Mr Jarvis did not particularly want an article written about the group’s accounts.

His view was that the group communicates adequately with its own shareholders.

That may be the case, but anyone who thinks they can raise $90 million from the public, tell an industry it needs a shake-up and claims to have a new way of doing business should expect a bit of attention.

And, among other things, our spotlight has highlighted how well the directors have done from this venture.

Hopefully, that reflects a job well done.

What a year!

FINALLY, I’d like to wish everyone all the best for the festive season from all of us at Business News.

Business is never easy but this year has tested many of the best.

There have been so many memorable moments but not many of those are events we’d wish to see repeated.

Let’s hope 2002 is more a more positive year, especially for those in business.

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