Barossa Blitzkrieg

27 February 2007

I went North to the Barossa this weekend, and barely made it back alive. There’s something dangerous in the air up there that pours lots of good red wine down my gullet. I think it has a name, this evil force, they call it: Travis O’Callaghan. Travis is a great…

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Love Thy Supplier

22 February 2007

Meltdown is upon us. As I stated earlier, this is turning out to be one of the most extraordinary years in Aussie viticultural history, and the vineyards are finally kaputt, calling it a day, and falling apart. The R winemaking team has been walking through all of the vineyards, over…

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Starlings of the Slipstream

14 February 2007

It comes down to this: it’s the final three weeks of harvest before the premium reds finish their final stretch of developing full flavor profiles and are put to the press. It’s been the worst year of drought in Australia since 1982 (looking at 100f plus this weekend), and the…

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Everything Turns Grey

08 February 2007

The grapes are coming into Belvedere, the large commercial winery that R Wines calls home, by the truckload. Capable of handling 20,000 tons of fruit, Belvedere is a monster, but still small next to Wolf Blass’s 250,000 ton facility down the road. We will be crushing about 5,000 tons of…

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The Sea

02 February 2007

The vintage here is getting stressful, not enough grapes to go around, and dozens of growers to coddle until the contracts are signed and the fruit finally arrives at the winery. We work til our fingers bleed, then relax. And there is no finer breeze and light than in South…

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In Country

24 January 2007

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…

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Lamb, Lies, and Precipitation

20 January 2007

There is a lot going on down here. So much so that I haven’t been able to sit down and write because everything keeps evolving too quickly. It’s an exciting time to be in South Australia. The company I’m working with, currently called R Winery, is growing at a break-neck…

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The Drought and Oranges

18 January 2007

This has been one of the hottest and driest summers in history, which is saying something in Australia. I spent a good part of yesterday wandering round downtown under the severe sun looking for sunglasses, an ipod cover, a usb modem, and an fm transmitor. All of these will help…

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16 January 2007

Today was a day to get up and look around at my new surroundings. It began with a walk through the brown Adelaide Hills, admiring the golden grass, hard packed dry earth, and a few spectacular dead Eucalyptus trees (called gum trees). Rachel described the calcified trees by saying they…

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Rest On Rest Off

14 January 2007

After a smooth flight to Adelaide and its posh new airport, I was met there by Alberto and Rachel of the Grateful Palate. It was sunny and warm, indicative of the drought South Australia has been suffering for some months now. We met with two young winemakers of the R…

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