Monday, September 13, 2010

Look, look, look, lookin' out my back door.

I'm quite enjoying picking out my favourite songs to listen to while I write my blog posts and do other computer work. Tonight while I was thinking of this particular blog entry, I had a Creedence moment, so the song for this one is 'Who'll stop the rain?'

I'm listening to the song, and the rain, right now. Last weekend, Spring really was here with the glorious sunny Spring days that the Barossa does best but Winter has given us a reminder tonight that perhaps she is not quite ready to move on. The Barossa has had an amazing amount of rain over the past few weeks and our dam filled up, almost overnight. Our old, deep-rooted vines are loving it, and it will certainly hold them in good stead for a hot, dry summer, which will be here soon enough.

When the rain falls so steadily, and for so long, I am even more appreciative of the fact that I live in the Barossa Ranges, where flooding is not quite the issue as much as it is to those who live on the Valley floor. I witnessed the aftermath of the Barossa floods in the early eighties and will never forget the devastation that it caused. I can still remember the interior of the house I helped to clean. I was completely stunned at how almost nothing was able to be salvaged. It took months for people to recover from that.

The photos below were taken in the first week of September - the first is of our dam, which rarely fills to capacity, and the second is of the Bethany Creek. It was quite amazing driving through the Barossa and seeing so much water about in the first week of September!

On a completely different note but still Barossa orientated, last Thursday night I was privileged to be part of a core group asked to attend a meeting at the Tanunda Club to discuss my involveme
nt in an innovative idea of the Barossa Wine and Grape Association to promote the Barossa. I won't elaborate at the moment other than to say that I feel very honoured, and am really looking forward to being a participant and spending more time doing what I love to do - writing. If you want to see a whole different perspective of the Barossa from some of the personalities in it, then keep an eye on this page, which should be officially launched sometime in October, if not before: Barossa Dirt. It's going to be a lot of fun and I'm already making notes to use over the coming weeks.

Speaking of notes, there was much note-taking on the weekend during a visit to the Barossa by Sydney wine-blogger, Andrew Graham. Whilst I took some notes regarding Andrew, he took lots of notes about the vineyards in our area and had a chance to speak with some of the fascinating personalities of our special ridge. We hosted the afternoon for our guests in our old red gum stable and though a small get-together, it was simply sensational to sit and listen as Bob McLean and Chris Ringland discussed soils, techniques and their opinions of pretty much anything and everything to do with vines and wines. James and I, and Colin Sheppard, sat entranced by the stories told by Bob in particular, and the table of wines was one to be proud of - 2000 Chris Ringland Shiraz, 2000 McLean's Farmgate Barr-Eden, 2010 Karra Yerta Eden Valley Riesling, 2010 Flaxman Wines Eden Valley Riesling just to name some. Wow, what an afternoon.

Later in the evening, James, Andrew and I met up with the other Collective Barossa guys, Steve Kurtz and Mark Mader (and Mark's lovely wife, Amanda), for a classic Barossa pub feast at the Angas Park Hotel in Nuriootpa. We had a fabulous night with much laughter, and yet more good wine and food.

An exhausting but exhilarating day, and a real insight for Andrew into some of the people of the Barossa. I will be writing more about Andrew's visit in another blog entry in the very near future, but first I have to write about the other happenings of last weekend. That involved a trip South to one of my all-time favourite places and will follow soon:)

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