Ovens & Murray Advertiser

Taste of wine country

- J anice Milhinch, B eechworth

Janice Milhinch was born in the foothills of the Dandenongs in the outer east of Melbourne when it was all bush and you could ride anywhere on your bike safely. She has lived in Indigo for twenty years with around the last five of those in Beechworth. What’s your job?

I share my love of wine, working at the Cellar Door of Scion Artisan wines – my son’s winery in Rutherglen. What brought you to this role? After working as a clinical audiologis­t in Melbourne, I felt the strong desire to see where my family’s history of winemaking began and to live in a small country community with natural beauty and fresh air. I have always loved good food and fine wine! What do you love about your job? I love to observe all the seasons of the vineyard. As vignerons we grow the grapes, make the wine and bottle it, all by artisan methods. Using renewable energy combined with our stunningly fresh clean air, brilliant sun all year round and fertile soil allows us to grow some of the best quality grapes in the world – Rutherglen’s famous Muscat a Petit Grain Rouge and Durif. What do you do in the community? I share my passion for trees with other community members of the Beechworth Treescape Group. This little ‘band of brothers’ is an informal group of like-minded citizens who watch over our trees, primarily around the environs of Beechworth town.

What’s the most important current community issue for you?

I believe that our natural environmen­t deserves to be respected by the whole community. I hope that my little grand-daughter Elke will learn at home and at school about her role in keeping trees protected for the future.

What would you do to solve, change or improve that situation?

I want to see trees have Rights! I would like to see the Indigo community develop a Charter for Trees, built on respect and understand­ing. It would be excellent to see all Indigo community groups who care for the environmen­t come together as one and do something extraordin­ary. What’s the most important current world issue for you?

Climate change and the consequenc­e for food production. Water and arable land are essential to feed the world’s growing population.

If the person you’d most like to meet came to Indigo, or was already here, who would that be and what would you show them?

I’d love to meet my great great grandfathe­r, George Francis Morris. He emigrated to Beechworth in the 1850’s at the age of 18 – such a brave move for a young man. I’d ask him what he thinks of Beechworth now. Then I’d take him down to Rutherglen to meet Rowly, his great great great grandson, and ask him about the pioneering days when grapes were harvested with horse and cart. We could all share a glass of fine wine.

Why would you show him that?

I‘d like to understand whether or not we have changed Indigo for the better over the last 150 years. What book are you reading? Oliver Sack’s ‘The River of Consciousn­ess.’

 ?? PHOTO: Coral Cooksley ??
PHOTO: Coral Cooksley
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