I’ve begun driving long distances, which has caused some confusion, thanks to prehistoric signage pointing to the long forgotten villages of Middle Earth, as well as a chance to see more of the expansive sun stained countryside.
R Winery is drawing from vineyards scattered all over South Australia, like McLaren Vale, the Barossa, and fairly remote Riverland. One of my jobs is to collect samples from the vineyards for their winemakers to taste. Predictions can be made on when to pick grapes and gauge the conditions of various sites by tasting a sample pressing of 20 clusters from a given parcel. My mission was to make the drive to way out Riverland and bring the samples from Paringa down to Langhorne Creek, a drive that took most of the day. It turns out that the next day, which is today or yesterday in NYC, I was elected out of a list of one to press all the samples individually into thin necked salad dressing bottles for our winemakers and viticulturists to try this afternoon. They were nice enough to let me taste along. I’ve never tasted a range of samples before, most of them baring an uncanny resemblance to green banana baby food. They proved instructive, however, as we were actually able to make the decision that harvest for rose and chardonnay will begin Monday. Madness to follow.
In other news I am literally moving to the countryside, in the heart of the Barossa Valley in the town of Greenock in a small cottage smack dab next to the famous Greenock Creek Winery on Roennfeldt Road. The cabin is owned by Michael and Anabelle Waugh, the owners of Greenock Creek, whom I was lucky enough to have lunch with this week. Their old vine shiraz is my backyard. I’ll be living with a woman who has offered to iron all of my clothes for 10$ an hour. I’m not sure what to do with that.