Monthly Archives: January 2016

Step Into Our Shoes – Vintage 2016 Day One

January 22, 2016

As I sit to write, it is raining! The small break in our superbly timed Hunter wet season is coming to another close.

Day one of vintage… so how’d we go? Here’s what I remembered.

It’s hot – damn hot when you work outside with glare and heat reflecting off all the stainless steel. On the upside, the view is amazing and does much to bolster the spirit of weary workers.

I never look good when I work in the winery! How can other people work outside wearing boots, long pants, long sleeves and hat and still look ever so slightly chic? Me, I look like I feel – sticky sweaty, hair plastered to my head and an alluring spattering of grape skins!

It’s wet. I get to run around with the hose once we’ve crushed and pressed. I clean the gear whilst Michael weaves his winemaking magic. Not so bad on a hot day!

But here’s what I forgot. Grape skins are slippery suckers! Picture me cleaning the press. This entails me crawling inside the perfectly rounded, horizontal stainless steel drum, hose in hand. I then duck walk (you can’t stand in a press) over a whole heap of residual grape skins on perfectly smooth, polished stainless steel. The aim is to get to the end and start pushing the slippery little beasties out the door I just crawled in. You need a little pressure in your hose, too. And when you’re hosing in an enclosed space believe me you always hit one surface at the wrong angle and have it all come back in your face!

Funny the things we forget.

As day one comes to a close we are still excited to have embarked on the Vintage 2016 ride. Something tells me it’s going to be one hell of a journey, with Mother Nature at the helm, controlling our highs and our lows. For now, however, we are pleased to sneak one past her and safely tuck one batch of Semillon and Verdelho away from her harsh outbursts.

Step into our shoes…

January 6, 2016

It’s raining, it’s pouring…

What the? I could be cynical, and say, ‘of course it is, it’s the Hunter Valley and we’re just about to TRY and pick grapes’. But, instead, I breathe calmly and deeply, waiting for the rain to stop, knowing this too shall pass.

Not to be too philosophical, I’ve also sent our talented, woodworking son to the shed. He’s starting on the Ark. Everyone needs a plan B!

So, as we wait out the rain, we count our blessings – and there are many:

• Our wetlands area outside the office is growing bigger by the day, providing much enjoyment to a vast array of aquatic wildlife. My personal favourite is the gorgeous pelicans it attracts.

• Our water tanks are overflowing – so lots of luxurious warm, long baths and showers can be had.

• We are warm and dry in our family home. Cliché, I know. But, as one of our tiny, community lost their home to a house fire this Christmas, we were all reminded, some things should never be taken for granted!

You get the picture – we sit… we wait… we are grateful…

Our vineyard has been prepared well and we have done all we can to survive these passing rains. And, with a winemaker as talented as ours… we’ll be okay! You’d think Mother Nature got a kick out of putting him to the test!!