Thursday, March 20, 2008

"Black Fingernails, Red Wine..."

That is the name of a great Aussie song by the group, Eskimo Joe. It is also what James and I have had a lot of experience with the past few weeks.

I have been working at Rocland Winery in the laboratory during vintage and a lot of my time is spent collecting wine samples from barrels and stainless steel tanks. Thus, my hands and clothes are often stained with red wine:) It has been a wonderful experience being a part of the small but efficient team that make our Karra Yerta Wines Eden Valley Riesling. They are great fun to work with and even though some days the pressure started to show (after 12 hour shifts for 15 consecutive days of over 38 degree celsius heat) the jokes still got told and there were still smiles.

As stated in my earlier blog, James helped with the beginning processes of making our 2008 Barossa Shiraz and more recently, our 2008 Eden Valley Cabernet. James and I are both really happy that we been "hands-on" with all of our wines this year in one way or another and feel very good about the people we have surrounded ourselves with for Vintage 2008. If you cannot communicate and work with, not against, the people who are helping to create your wines, you cannot expect to make something outstanding.... great wine is truly a reflection of so much more than just the fruit/vineyard (although that helps!)

All that is left to hand-pick now is our Eden Valley Shiraz. Now that the days and nights have become cooler, this should bring some respite to the ripening process and it looks like they will be now be picked next weekend. By all accounts, this should be a great wine even though there won’t be much of it.

A half tonne bin of our Eden Valley Shiraz will again be pooled with some shiraz grapes from a neighbour and made into our second consecutive vintage of sparkling shiraz. When the 2007 Sparkling Shiraz is ready to drink, that is something I definitely look forward to!

On that note, as it is the night before Good Friday, which means I have a "day off" tomorrow, I am going to open a bottle of Barossa Shiraz and watch the first round of the AFL. It is a good indication of things to come - winter - long awaited and oh so needed...... rainy days, chilly nights, fog and mist in the valleys.... I can’t wait! Summer has been too long and hot this year for my liking and I will be glad when it is over. In the meantime, Happy Easter!


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