Au­thor in­spired by win­ery life

Augusta Margaret River Times - - Front Page - War­ren Hately

A late-night cri­sis at her hus­band’s win­ery was the im­pe­tus for a story 25 years in the mak­ing for lo­cal au­thor Vikki Mes­sen­ger.

Mes­sen­ger’s de­but novel Crush, re­leased last year, fo­cused on the lives and loves of a young wine­maker in the Mar­garet River re­gion. This week, Mes­sen­ger and her vint­ner hus­band Mark re­leased their first wine — a mal­bec — la­belled af­ter the fic­tional Be­neath The Kite win­ery fea­tured in the book.

Dur­ing a rainy sit-down with the Times this week, the writer out­lined how she be­came cu­ri­ous about what would hap­pen if her hus­band’s win­ery mix-up came true.

Mark moved heaven and earth to make sure an in­cor­rectly la­belled vat of wine was not the one sent off to bot­tling and on to a pres­ti­gious wine show, but tak­ing the idea for her de­but out­ing, Mes­sen­ger said she used the con­flict as the base for her long-awaited story.

Crush has met warm feed­back so far, with wine lovers and non-drinkers alike able to re­late to the story, ac­cord­ing to Mes­sen­ger.

“Most peo­ple go ‘Oh, that’s a cool idea’, and seem to re­ally en­joy the con­cept,” she said. “The feed­back I get is that peo­ple are en­joy­ing the story.”

Mes­sen­ger de­scribed the book as “en­gag­ing, evoca­tive, sexy, fun”.

The newly re­leased mal­bec was hand-la­belled by Mes­sen­ger us­ing her book’s Be­neath The Kite brand, ref­er­enc­ing the South­ern Cross.

The mal­bec is on of­fer on Settlers Tav­ern’s wine menu and will soon be avail­able for sale through Settlers Liquor, while Crush can be grabbed at the Mar­garet River Book­shop and Bare­foot Books in Bus­sel­ton.

For more in­for­ma­tion on Crush, visit be­

Hus­band-and-wife team Vikki and Mark Mes­sen­ger have pro­duced a mal­bec wine themed af­ter Vikki's de­but novel, Crush.

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