July 2013 Archives

Bottling our 2012 reds and 2013 rose

I hate bottling time.

It is typically a time of stress and anxiety.

Will the truck arrive on time? Will the wines spill on the trip to the Swan Valley for bottling? Will any last minute adjustments harm the wines? Will the wines block the filter on the bottling line? Will my bottling crew show up?

The answer to all these questions this year was 'no' ... except perhaps for a small spillage of rose. Unfortunately the tank lid dropped in just as we were coming into the driveway at Mandoon. Fortunately, though, only a small quantity of wine was lost, though only 40 dozen total were bottled. Again, it will be a matter of first in best dressed, I'm afraid.

Jan bottling_2013.jpg
Here is a photo of Jan who loved helping us so much last year that he volunteered again this year, despite having an injured wife in hospital. Thanks Jan and all who volunteered a morning of their time to help with bottling this year.

This year Sean, with his newly acquired HR truck licence, was my truckie. The hardest part was actually getting the 1000L pallecons of wine onto the tail-lift of the truck. We don't have a forklift, only a pallet jack, and together Mum, Sean and I weren't enough horse-power to push the wines onto the tail. Yay for Milenko who was working nearby and could drop by to lend a hand. Wines loaded, Sean and I made it to Mandoon without further mishap. Toot toot!!

Friday was our day of bottling. As normal, Maurice of MAP bottling was professional, friendly and did a fantastic job bottling our wines. It is great to find people in the industry who care and understand the passion we producers have in our product (Maurice is a vigneron himself!).

Thank you too, Ryan for all your help, compassion and advice. You have been a wonderful friend and colleague ever since I started this business 5 years ago. You deserve all the successes you have achieved at Mandoon.

As for the wines, my pick is the 2012 Shiraz. It has presence. Deep, black-purple, it shows brambly fruit on the nose and suppleness and balance on the palate. I can't wait to see it when I release it in a few years' time. The Cabernet Sauvignon, again, shows style and elegance. I think its tannins and lively palate will make it a great food wine and a good wine to put down in the cellar. For the first time I also created a Shiraz Cabernet Malbec blend - this is a fragrant, supple and generous wine, incorporating some of our 40 year old malbec grapes which gives the wine perfume (think violets) and intensity.

The bonfire party - the aftermath

Thank you everyone who made it up for the bonfire party. It was a perfect sunny winter's day!

Milic, with Milenko and Sean's help, did a great job with the lamb. Mum, as always, managed to create a zillion salads and sweet treats with seemingly minimal effort.

The bonfire went off like a rocket! Pete, Rich, Sean and Helga, like the dutiful piromaniacs they are, made sure it didn't burn too much of the paddock in the process.

For someone who's never built a bonfire, Sean did a pretty good job! Here is a picture of the bonfire the next day.


Yep, it's on!

vineyard_june2013.jpgThe forecast for the weekend looks promising! "Mostly sunny with some cloudy periods". We'll take it!!!

Preparations are well underway. Thanks to Sean and Pete for making the place look picture-card perfect.

The spit has been greased and tested, the lamb collected and the logs split.

We will fire up the BBQ around 1pm, the lamb hopefully will be ready about 2pm. If you are coming with friends, please consider bringing something for the BBQ as we are not sure of precise numbers.

Please also make sure you bring warm clothes. The forecast is 14C during the day and once the sun disappears it will drop to 4C. There will be some chairs, but if you want to be sure of one, pop one into your car.

In terms of wine sales, there will be mixed red dozens* available for $150 and straight dozens (other than Rose) will attract ~10% off the cellar door price.

We look forward to seeing you again!

* 3 bottle limit on Shiraz and Cabernet