Newsletter Volume 19

Newsletter Volume 19
January 2020

Dear highly-valued Wine Club Member,

January is busy!!!

Viticultural life is always relatively busy but a crescendo is reached as the fruit ripens and vintage approaches. The last six Newsletters have charted the course from dormancy with pruning, bud burst, fruit set and veraison. Sampling the fruit with increasing frequency(and anxiety) reaches a peak when the call is made to retrieve the bounty and send it post haste to the winery. This is how it happened…

Vintage 2020.

The hot, crisp, dry conditions persisted throughout December, over Christmas and New Year, and into the first week of 2020. We were watering with the drip irrigation system daily and unlike our Granite Belt cousins, out fruit flourished. Flavours, quality and health were all faultless. Berry size was down and the total yield was about 20% less than our peak years. Peter is our viticulturist and had been able to maintain our precious little vineyard in peak condition.

Traditionally, our Vermentino has been the first to ripen and provide the desired Baume/Brix readings indicating the full-time whistle. This year, the Tempranillo has been the outstanding performer. Steady maturation continued through to the finish line and gorgeous berries were retrieved on Saturday January 11. Almost a tonne of luscious fruit was harvested by a band of 60 energetic, enthusiastic, educated and excited wine-club member volunteers. The Vermentino was retrieved too (1.3 tonnes) and I am so genuinely grateful to Noeleen, Edwina, Jack,  Kat, Sam M, Richard, David F, Lynnette, Colleen, Lawrie, Marjorie, Ron, Simon, Jenny, Matt, Peter Sc, Peter St, Claire, John, Con, Rhommel, Sam P, Steve, Neroli, Chris, Sue, Barb, David B, Deb, Reanna, Kath, Chris B, Chris C, Lachlan, Liz, Neil, Nicolee, Lyn, Andy, Bella, Kate, Gary, Andrea, Hannah, Connor, Charles, Ethan, Lara and of course the canines Nero (the hero), Ruby and Sarah.
The Fiano was not far behind and a highly competent band of 20 of us retrieved about 750 kg on Thursday January 16. Peter Scully provided the refrigerated van as he has don so for the last 7 years and safely nursed the fragile cargo down to Terry Morris’ splendid winery at Sirromet in Mt Cotton. Our extraordinary team was ready to accept the precious freight and set the magic wine making wheels in motion. All of us at TOE 1895 are so grateful to Jessica Ferguson, Glen Eaton and Mark Barnsdale at Sirromet. Their knowledge, skill, dedication, responsibility, reliability and trustworthiness are invaluable. Long may they continue to work in close partnership with us.

This coming Thursday, January 23, will see us harvest the final quarter of our varietal stable. The Montepulciano will be ready and we expect a catch of about 1.2 tonnes. If so, that will yield a total vintage of about 4.2 tonnes for 2020. I’d really hoped we’d be closer to 8 tonnes this year but so be it. Our lot could have been vastly worse with the lack of rain affecting most of rural Australia, the devastation associated with the bush fires and the general economic downturn. I expect we will produce about 4000 bottles of our splendid, medal-winning wines this year. In addition to the Vermentino, Fiano, Tempranillo, Montepulciano, Storm Cru Sparkling Red and the Storm Cru Sparkling White, we will also produce a Rose’ and possibly a Sparkling Rose’  ..  keep your eyes pealed for these brilliant offerings.

The Cellar Door.

Onwards and upwards as ever. Not that the sailing is always smooth but we do have outstanding, loyal and competent staff. Capably led by Shaz; Taylor (recently engaged and about to start Medical School), Jenna, Sarah, Jenny and Lachlan have all been outstanding.

Luncheon guests continue to revel in the gourmet offerings Fri-Sunday with live music every Sunday. The genres are constantly changing and evolving. Cheese platters are expertly presented by Shaz on Wednesday and Thursday too so guests are always warmly welcomed and cared for.

We have a special Valentines Day dinner planned for Friday Feb 14 and bookings will be very important,. We expect a sell out crowd for this event.

Saturday May 16 is the date for The Grape Escape Fun Run. What a day this will be. We expect about 600 runners to cover the 5 and 10 k courses through lush pastures, deep forests, lake-side paths, over hills and down dales. Every entrant receives a lanyard with a specially marked wine cup, a commemorative medal, a logo-embossed cap and exposure to extraordinary food/wines/ambience. In addition, we will have a live band to pump out dance covers until nightfall and beyond. Look for the website and register now as an early bird to save $’s.
The Property.

Also in good shape. Bella is the manager, the wizard, the font of all mechanical knowledge. Every machine, vehicle, piece of equipment and tool is kept in peak operating condition. It is such a pleasure to embark upon a job knowing that breakdowns and failures are unlikely.

The horses and cattle are also in great nick. We’ve had over 100 mm of rain in the last week and already the dormant plant spores are sprouting.

And Finally.

2020 has a very positive aura. I hope you have the same feeling and that we can prosper, share and enjoy together.

Warmest regards
Nero and David.