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SA magazine folds after 45 years

Creative Industries

An Adelaide-produced magazine long considered the Bible of Australia’s wine industry has stopped production after 318 issues.

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Founded by Peter Simic in 1978, Winestate Magazine became the leading independent wine magazine in Australia, providing news and reviews about wineries, cellar doors, restaurants and upcoming events.

The magazine spoke to wine enthusiasts, restaurants and liquor stores, with a particular influence on wine buyers, investors and wine tourism. While focused on the Australian reader, the magazine also attracted international attention and was distributed globally.

“It is sad to say that the time has come, and this will be our final issue as a regular wine magazine,” Simic said.

“It’s hard to believe that what started as such a humble outfit all those years ago has turned into a successful global wine publication and one that we have been very proud of.”

Simic said that although the magazine will no longer be produced, Winestate will continue to provide reviews, articles and archival resources through its website.

He said that in addition to the pandemic, the wine industry has faced other challenges such as natural disasters, printing issues and global trade dilemmas all of which have impacted the company.

“After 45 years, it has become unsustainable. We feel for a lot of wineries struggling and we’re not immune to this situation overall,” Simic said.

Long regarded as the Bible of the wine industry, the magazine is also infamous for being used by Richard Wayne Phillips to whack Mike Rann across the head at a function in 2009 over an alleged affair with his wife Michelle Chantelois.

Although Simic has faith the wine industry will recover over the next three to five years, he said continuing the print magazine will only increase financial pressures and workloads.

“We’ve reached our limit with the format of a magazine and much of our audience in terms of support is now online,” Simic said.

“We’re keeping the Winestate name in hope to do some spot promotions in the future, but not in the form of a regular wine magazine.”

Simic says that “anything is possible” in this digital age which might call for an entirely new platform to promote Australian wines over the next decade.

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