Monthly Archives: March 2015

Man Versus Wild

March 16, 2015

Today as we crushed the last of our fruit in the winery, we exhaustedly punched the air, let out a weak, yet exultant yahoo and took ourselves home to bed. We felt a little like the Bear Grylls wine making team – up against nature… and survived!

As with every Hunter vintage, we stubbornly tried to outwit Mother Nature on the spectacular, wild, roller coaster ride she provides. And in her usual way, although we decided today would see the last of our fruit picked, this evening she brought our roller coaster ride to an abrupt end. She slammed the carriages into the buffers, with a symphony of driving rain, shattering hail and howling wind. She finally declared the fun over! No fruit could survive yet another storm – another powerful and humbling display of Mother Nature’s majestic reign!

But today we outwitted and outlasted and managed to bring in the last of our Muscat. It’s being added to our ageing fortified, doing its thing in barrel at the back of the winery. I can’t wait to launch this one!

Forty nine days of vintage is now coming to a close. And what was it like? Thankfully, our vineyard managed to dodge much of the early storms and hail in November, December. This meant we easily harvested our whites and they currently look fantastic in tank. Although, we were lucky enough to dodge the freak hail storms, nobody could dodge the inordinate amount of rainfall we’ve experienced these last few months. This made harvesting our reds so much harder. However, with some diligent vineyard management, and a little luck, we have harvested all our reds, which are now safely tucked away in tank and barrel. With handcrafting mediocre wine not an option, we are grateful we work with an exceptional vineyard management and harvesting team! The wine making team aren’t too bad either! Yes, vintage was tough, however, we are excited about the 2015 wines we will be bottling. Stick with us and you’ll get to taste them soon.

Vintage, for us, is working seven days a week and having little ability to concentrate on much except the long range weather forecast and how we can harvest all our babies and tuck them safely into the winery. However, other things do happen and life has the amazing ability to still carry on, with or without our attention. This vintage, we were privileged to celebrate Michael’s 50th birthday, our 22nd wedding anniversary and our son’s 14th birthday. All overdue for some real celebration now we have some time off! Sadly, it’s also seen us mourn the death of a dear friends precious, young son and a fellow cellar hands beloved Dad. The pain from both will continue for our mates…

So, as we reflect on these last 49 days and life’s wheels keep turning, we are humbled by our Vintage 2015 experience. We have been, yet again, reminded that ultimately we are not in control. There are higher forces at play! And as our lives resume something akin to normality, we’re determined to continue to love every day, and embrace our motto…

live it… love it… stomp!