Monday, April 27, 2009

Bushgardens and a Biscay Brunch

It has hardly stopped raining for the past four days. Not a heavy rain that washes away precious topsoil in our hilltop vineyard or colourful cottage gardens but a gentle, soaking rain that is ever so slowly soaking into the rock hard ground. And I mean slowly..... Yesterday I went to the Barossa Bushgardens native plant sale and came home with about thirty various native seedlings to plant during the brief dry breaks in the autumn showers. I was amazed that the moisture had only soaked into the ground about two inches deep so digging was not as easy as I thought. Needless to say, there are many still left to plant during the coming week as after planting ten seedlings, opening a bottle of Barossa Shiraz and sitting in the cellar watching the rain seemed like a much more sensible and relaxing way to spend a Sunday afternoon:)

Monday morning started off a little more hectic than how Sunday afternoon ended. The morning showers made it hard to get going but as James was heading off to Biscay Vintners early, I had a few things to do before driving down the hills to the valley to meet him, Pete, Jason and Abel for morning tea (armed with a basket of warm scones, home-made apricot jam and jersey cream). James had pump-overs to do of our red wines. By the time I arrived he had finished so we all stopped for brunch whilst listening to the rain pouring on the winery roof. A really nice way to spend the last part of the morning.

As you can see from the photos here, the red wines are looking great. James is very happy indeed with this years crops and even thinks the flavours are better than last year (which also was a fabulous year for us despite the bizarre weather around vintage). It is all very exciting and so hard to wait for so long til the fruits, literally, are in the bottle. That's what I like about riesling - we can pick it in February and be drinking from the bottle by July. I guess though, that nothing beats an aged shiraz but it is hard to be so patient. James has really worked hard with Pete, Jason and Abel the past few weeks and it is terrific to see all the guys pottering about the shed each doing their own thing yet helping each other when the need be. Truly what small scale Barossa wine-making is all about! That deserves another delivery of home-cooked goodies I think. Perhaps on Friday:)

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