Andi has a crazy busy week this week so I’m standing in for the usual weekly post. I thought I’d write a little about what we’ve been up to recently.
We’ve met some new friends who are on a similar journey to us but who are taking a different approach. Pate and Rebecca have jumped in and bought themselves a 10 acre vineyard up in the Heathcote wine region. The property had been neglected for a few years when they bought it. However they plan on spending some time fixing it up and making their own wine from the vines in the mean-time. Heathcote is famous for big fruity red wines and can be reached in a little over an hour’s drive from Melbourne.
Pete and Rebecca’s vineyard was waist high in grass when they bought it about a year ago. On top of that, the vines had not had any love for more than 3 years. They bought themselves a ride on lawnmower (grown up life goals!), cleared out the jungle and made their first batch of wine from grapes that were already on the vines. This year they have been pruning hard through the winter and that is how we met. A mutual friend suggested we might be interested in some experience pruning and Pete & Rebecca weren’t about to turn down free labour! We jumped at the chance.
This was my first time pruning vines and whilst it was pretty hard work. There is definitely something about working in a field as a team that is good for the soul. There were 6 of us in all that pruned for around 2 hours. In that time we managed to complete a couple of rows of vines. I’m beginning to understand why almost every winemaker / viticulturalist I’ve met has a handshake like steel! Pete grabbed us all some fish and chips for lunch from the local chippy. Then we all ate under their enormous ancient redgum tree which must be more than 100 years old. They’re hoping eventually to start hosting weddings and events on site and it would make a stunning venue. Its a beautiful site that is really coming together and we will no doubt be spending some more time up there through the season to help out with various stages of the winemaking process.
Picking, crushing, pressing and of course the tasting!
Apart from anything else, Pete, Rebecca and Oscar are a lovely family. They have shown us that there are many more ways to get into this industry than spending millions on an established place in the Yarra.
We would also love to wish Pete and Rebecca a wonderful wedding day which is coming up this week! Talk about having a lot on your plate! Being married is awesome!
Wine and food
Our other event this week was the Heatcote Wine and food festival which we attended on Saturday.
We went along for one day of the festival and camped at the very friendly Queen Meadow Campsite nearby. There was no shortage of the big fruity red wines that Heathcote is famous for. However, my standout for the day was a 2015 GSM (Grenash, Shiraz, Mouvedre) blend from Farmer and the Scientist and, surprisingly, a chardonnay (typically produced in cooler regions) from Sanguine Estate. Usually reserved for the wine club members, this wine was out on tasting especially for the show. The 2017 Chardy was fresh and aromatic with a nice balance of oak on the pallet. Not at all what I had expected from a region synonymous with big red wines.
Big Red Wines
Speaking of Big red wines, whilst at the show we attended a seminar hosted by wine taster and educator Rob Hicks. Our seminar included a tasting flight of “Reds beyond Shiraz” which was a great choice. Some excellent wines in here, again the favourite for me was the GSM from Tellurian wines. Lots of red summer fruits, with a long soft finish and some very fine tanins made this one a standout for me.
Andi is working the Royal Melbourne Wine show this week so I expect we’ll hear a little about that next week. In the mean time, thanks for reading.
Please feel free to share with your friends if you know of anyone who likes to hear about adventures in wine!