Monday, October 27, 2008

Our first 2008 Eden Valley Riesling review!

We are currently in the final stages of designing a new label for the release of our 2008 Eden Valley Riesling. Hopefully we can have the wine on the shelves for sale within the next month so that Christmas orders will be delivered on time. The year has gone so fast again and it's hard to believe that it is nearly 2009!

The 2008 Riesling will be our fourth riesling release and whilst my own favourite at this time is the 2005 vintage (it is just starting to show it's fine aging qualities) it just may be that our 2008 release will be our best yet going on the following review from Andrew Graham. Andrew is a great fan of dry rieslings and although we have had a few other people in the industry informally taste it, his review is the first "written" one.
Here are some excerpts from it but you
can visit Andrew's wine blog at

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Karra Yerta Riesling 2008 (Eden Valley, SA)

Screwcap, not yet released but 2007 vintage is $25

The picture below tells the story here - those lovely, gnarled, 75 yr old Riesling vines are located in one of the highest vineyards in the Flaxmans Valley, sitting high above the Barossa floor in an epicentre for Riesling in Australia: The Eden Valley. Hand tended, dry grown, hand picked (even hand labelled), its these pieces of vinous history that are what makes this very fine Riesling so very fine.

I have come to two conclusions with this wine; Firstly, only 80 dozen were produced, and if the price stays the same, it may not last long (order it here); Secondly, I actually think this may never be more attractive - its so beautiful now that whilst the backbone will carry it through for many years yet, I think it deserves to be drunk young & delicious. 18.8(/20)

For any enquiries on this wine please email me at and I will place you on the mailing list so that as soon as it is available, I can let you know.

Friday, October 24, 2008

It's a small world after all...

What I really enjoy the most about having our own small business is meeting new people. There are some amazing people in the world and especially in regards to those I "meet" on the internet, it is always extra wonderful to finally meet them in person.

Last week I had a very special visit from a couple that I had been in touch with via email since 2006 - Axel and Leen from Germany. They were on the last few days of a month long Australian holiday. And an exhausting one at that as they had flown into Darwin, driven to Perth and then flown to Adelaide.

Based in Gawler (they are both huge McLeod's Daughters fans) they spent a few days seeing some of the McLeod's sights ie the Kingsford House farm, Freeling etc and then a day touring the Barossa. Our place was their last stop before heading back to Adelaide via the Hills to do some shopping at the city RM Williams store. I do hope they managed to squeeze even a brief visit to Melba's Chocolate Factory at Woodside - that should be a must on every visitor's checklist of things to do.

I happily sent them off on their way with a bottle of riesling and other goodies. Axel and Leen were the second lot of German friends that I have had visit me and I really am amazed at how well they all speak English! I am sure that if I went to Germany I would have trouble communicating. I am hoping that they will come back in the next year or two for another visit and maybe even stay with us at our home for a while so that I can take them on a much more personalised tour of the Barossa as there really is so much to see, and not all of it on the mainstream maps/tourist guides.
It was a lovely afternoon and I am sure that we will meet again one day.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Nature's symphony under a Full Moon

A few nights ago, after a magnificent day where the temperature teased us with a summery 32 degrees celcius, I spent most of the late afternoon and early evening in a comfy chair under our wisteria-covered pergola. The garden was alive with fragrance: the pungent sweetness of the wisteria in flower; the last scent of the spring freesias; the first rose blooms and finally, the intoxicating smell of petunias.

The sounds audible in the garden were as harmonious as the fragrances. To the south, I could hear a week old calf and it's mother mooing, to the north, a lone peacock - in between these creatures, the banjo frogs and crickets rythymically croaked and chirped - the echos of the frogs going across the valley. And finally, across the road, spring lambs bleeted happily under the moonlight. It is surroundings like this that make our international visitors even more in awe of Australia.

Living in a close vicinity to the Kaiser Stuhl Conservation Park means we have native animals and birds much closer to us than most people. Kangaroos, birds, snakes, lizards and numerous other creatures searching for water mean we see them regularly. The honey-eaters, superb fairy wrens and many other birds speed through my garden at lightning speed. Just how they manoeuvre under the pergola is quite amazing. I find that by having many bird-baths in the garden quite close to the house, the birds seem to be quite happy to sit and bathe just a few metres away from us.

One of the funniest things I have seen in the past weeks are a couple of willie-wagtails "attacking" our dog whenever he gets within a ten metre distance from their nest. They are one of the most tenacious little birds around and despite their size I have seen them "stand up" to magpies and other much larger birds. They are also prone to "hitch-hiking" on sheeps' backs in the paddocks on the odd occasion! They sit like "Kings of the Castle", gaily swinging their tail from side to side as though they don't have a care in the world whilst getting their fill of airborne insects quite literally "on the sheep's back".

We are so fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful areas of Australia. Being able to sit outside in my garden and enjoy the sights and sounds are huge advantages of having a small family business that can be based in our house. Since becoming "commercial" we can no longer make our wines on our home property without vast expense to satisfy bureacracy (unfortunately the rules for making miniscule amounts of wine are the same as for someone making very large lots) but I would rather process our grapes offsite, under our watchful eyes, than risk losing the natural treasures we already have here. Sometimes you can't have it all but as our visitors see, why would you want to when you already have so much.