Get your hands dirty

Halliday - - Mail - Emily New­man, Kingswood, SA

I’ve had the wine bug for a while now, but thought I should see for my­self what hap­pens be­hind the scenes at har­vest time. So I took my soft of­fice hands to a friend of a friend’s win­ery to get them dirty. It was a small bio­dy­namic prop­erty in the Ade­laide Hills. I spent a cou­ple of days pick­ing, wash­ing bar­rels, plung­ing, clean­ing tubs, check­ing acid lev­els and gen­er­ally get­ting in­volved in what­ever was needed. What struck me was how hard ev­ery­one works, of­ten long into the night, to get just one more pump-over done, then set up to do it all over again the next day. Pick­ing grapes is back­break­ing work, but there was a great sense of ca­ma­raderie among the crew who came from all cor­ners of the globe. Lunch was a time to stop and come to­gether for a shared meal, cooked by the team mem­bers on a ros­ter ba­sis. Cof­fee was a re­li­gion and the end of the day was a time to soothe weary bod­ies with a beer or the fruits of past years’ labour. I used to look at wine prices in shops and won­der how they jus­ti­fied charg­ing what they do; surely na­ture did most of the work. I now bet­ter ap­pre­ci­ate the work, in­ten­sity and skill re­quired, and look for­ward to rolling up my sleeves again next year. I’d en­cour­age oth­ers to seek out sim­i­lar op­por­tu­ni­ties – it may just open your eyes to a whole new wine world.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.