Newsletter Volume 14

Newsletter Volume 14
August 2019

Dear highly-valued Wine Club Member,

It must be “Ekka time”. The westerlies are roaring through here. We’ve got white caps on the lake, trees bending before the force and a real chill in the air.

The Vineyard

Pruning has been completed and all of the 2019 vintage canes have been removed. Looks as bare as a baby’s ‘bot bot’. Don’t fear though. I can see the primitive buds in the form of embryological bumps just below the vine surface.

It’s fascinating to see the biology responding simultaneously to the external environment (slow and indolent) and the internal chemistry (rampant and ready to go). Whilst not as financially secure as getting a pay-cheque every Friday, this 12 month cycle is terrific. Queenslanders often lament the lack of definitive seasonal change. If ever you need a reality check, walk through a vineyard. The cycle never stops. It is visible, palpable and exhilarating.

The 2019 wines

As predicted and promised, the 2019 vintage has been a cracker for TOE 1895. The Vermentino has the floral characteristics of passion fruit with refreshing lemon and lime zest on the mid palate. Adam Chapman has crafted a beauty here. Our esteemed winemaker has moved on. It has been a most enjoyable journey with Adam and we wish him well. The 2020 vintage will be in Jessica Ferguson’s purview.

The Fiano is equally delicious with a hint of apricot blended with melons and peach.

The Storm Cru Sparkling White remains the all-time favourite. The Vermentino/Fiano blend is almost unique. Fresh, vibrant, balanced and dry. What a way to start every day!

The Montepulciano and the Tempranillo are still on oak and doing whatever it is they do. A sneak sip suggests they will surpass all expectations.

What’s the fuss about fruity notes?

I’ve often wondered why the hot shots refer to limes, lemons, melons and peaches when they taste a wine. They also wax lyrically about cherries, black currants, pencil shavings, violets and pomegranates.
I has occurred to me that it would be easier (and cheaper) to just buy a box of mixed fruits and suck to your hearts content.

Well, there is more to it. Basic taste relies on the receptor cells in the five zones on the tongue  ..   sweetness, sourness, saltiness, bitterness and umami.

All the other sensations are smells…and rely upon the volatility of methyl groups (in various combinations) which ascend from the mouth, behind your soft palate, up to the top of the internal cavern which is your nose.

The nasal top is at the base of the skull. Strategically positioned is a small plate with a myriad of tiny perforations. This is the cribriform plate. Immediately above the plate, applied to the under surface of the adjacent brain, are thousands of tiny tendrils or nerve endings. They are like fine little hairs. These are the miniscule fellas that send the desired message to the central smell zone of the brain. We just think we are tasting the real McCoy  ..  the fruits. It’s all just a molecular event. Magic eh?

So, next time you smell vanilla or taste mulberries in one of our wines, focus on your brain. That’s where it’s all happening. We have not actually added anything to our splendid product. It’s nature at work.

The Cellar Door

Onwards and upwards. Growth continues without a plateau in sight. Every week is just a bit bigger and a bit better. I did not expect to derive such pleasure from greeting guests, delivering food and wine and providing an atmosphere which rejuvenates the soul and enriches life immeasurably. I’d believed Medicine was the epicentre. Not so.
We’ve got a few exciting events on the near horizon:

  • On the Edge Events is conducting an Ultra Running Event on Sunday August 18. Call Andrew on 0417 740 535 for details. The first jogger hits the paddock at 0800.
  • Saturday August 31 is the GPS Girls Schools “Head of the River” on Lake Wyaralong. We are about 4 k away as the sober crow flies and will have live music, gourmet food, brilliant wines and an island oasis to enjoy. Bookings essential on 04 55 22 1895.
  • Sunday September 1 is Father’s Day. The special menu has been designed for all tastes and budgets. Even if Dad gets on your nerves at times, take solace in the thought of being able to be pampered too. Again call 04 55 22 1895 to grab a table.

The Property

We are dry, dry, dry. Although the island with the Homestead, the Cellar Door and the vineyard are eternally green (all hail irrigation) the rest of the property is parched. Mind you, all of our dams are clay-lined and almost impervious. Still plenty of drinking water for our horses, cattle and camels. And Nero (the black Labrador) still manages to swim daily.

Bella the Magnificent has all the machinery in perfect condition, ready for the summer onslaught.

This has been an extraordinary journey but without you, it becomes meaningless. It’s akin to holidaying on your own, experiencing special moments, with no one to share it.

All of us at TOE 1895 (and we are up to about 15 now), genuinely value your support. Thanks so very, very much.

With much affection

David Morgan