The past month has gone by so fast. In between my last post and this one we have had the 2009 Barossa Vintage Festival, numerous days of grape-picking and even my first drive around the Barossa in our newest acquisition with friends from the city. The Vintage Festival was a huge success and the weather for the week-long event was truly the Barossa at its beautiful best. The Valley was full of people attending many events. It was great to see everyone still enjoying themselves despite the current economic climate. That was the best thing about the Festival - there were events that were free to attend and ones that were well over $100 per ticket and everything price range in between so there really was something for everyone.
During the Festival a few of James' friends, John and Annette, stayed at Nuriootpa for a couple of days during which I took them on a tour to a few unique places in the Valley in our recently restored classic old Holden. They met some of our Collective counterparts - Steve Kurtz and Wayne Ahrens - for a private tasting, and it was wonderful to finally bring them to our place and sit in the old stable having a few glasses of wine. After a few extra stops we ended up having dinner with them at The Branch in Nuriootpa.
This week has been spent doing part days hand-picking of our Eden Valley Shiraz - a half tonne picked on Monday to pool with grapes from Colin Sheppard (from Flaxman Wines) for a Sparkling Shiraz. On Tuesday we picked our old vine Eden Valley Shiraz (about half a tonne only) for our own BullFrog Flat Shiraz and the last of the young shiraz was picked yesterday for our Red Blend. A very busy week indeed. James has taken leave from his full-time job at ETSA to be active in making our reds and today is picking up some Eden Valley Cabernet which we have sourced from David Brown (Mountadam Winery). In between all of this we have still been visiting Rocland (see the photo below of James and Juicy in front of the tank) to see how our riesling is progressing and so far, so good. All in all, in a few weeks time life should resume some normality and then it will be time to start pruning!
Finally, other news is that we have a new distributor for NSW, ACT and VIC - Single Vineyard Sellers and a new venture about to start in Tasmania so things are quite hectic on the paperwork/despatch side but very positive. I will also be attending a dinner in Brisbane at the end of July with many other Barossa winery representatives hosted by The Purple Palate. I will post more info regarding the Brisbane dinner and our own Barossa At Home dinner as things are confirmed in the coming weeks but for now, on this lovely rainy afternoon, I am heading to the kitchen to make a batch of scones and open a bottle of red which will be consumed watching the AFL match on television later tonight. It's been a huge month and it is certainly time to kick back and relax for a day or two.