Monthly Report - August 2022
Where to Start…
To say August was busy, was to say the world has become a very calm and rational place. Thus, the month has been extremely frenetic, and also an important resetting of a number of aspects of our business and wines. So let us go through this on a point by point basis.
1. Meet Jack
Yes we have a dog back on the vineyard – Jack is a German Shorthaired Pointer that has odd black and white colouring (they are normally brown with white), is very affectionate to his mother, eats his food in under a minute, and has taken over our daily routines. As always when you lose a dog it takes a few years to get a replacement, and for the first time in a long time Marjory and I have been settled enough to having a puppy roll on up and take over. He will end up being pretty large by the looks of his paws and he will be able to make the most of the paddocks and vines as his office as he “helps” out on the estate.
Jack meeting the Winemaker Clive – watching the All Blacks and drinking red wine
2. Cab Franc in the Mail
The release of the 2020 Cabernet Franc went out near the start of the month, but with the trip out east and all that entailed I was only able to get back to post these wines (and all the extra bottles) about 3 weeks later. We really thank all of the comrades, who purchased the wines, for your patience – with the wines selling out so quickly we were keen to get them on their way but my dilly dallying, access to the storage facility, and getting all the orders sorted at my end was the issue. We look forward to your take on the wines as we are always keen to hear what comrades think of any of the releases – it is a real pleasure to know the wines are being drunk and enjoyed.
After 4 hours of serving out tastes of our wines at Old Bridge Cellars in North Fremantle on a Friday evening, Marjory and I left with a pack of Portuguese Tarts and 2 check-in bags with more bottles than clothes to catch the midnight flight to Brisbane. I have not been to Brisbane for an age – always a place that has plenty of comrades but not a real focal point for selling and promoting. But this changed with the team at Wine Experience in Paddington setting up a public tasting and masterclass over the weekend – so we duly attended, and it was well organised and lots of folks rolled through making it a real cosmopolitan couple of days. Monday also meant catching up with a few other retailers before we jumped on to the next flight to Sydney.
Tasting and Masterclass @ Wine Experience – very cool little bar folks!
4. Ye Olde Sydney Towne
Ahhh Sydney – perhaps the prettiest of all cities when you have a room down by the harbour. Three days of catching up with our good friends in retail land (special call out to Red Bottle, Wine Culture, Different Drop and Midway Cellars) and having a tasting with comrades at Bar Mille at The Rocks. A lunch at Fix, a ride on the new light rail, visit to Chinatown for dinner with friends, and just missing a meeting with Mike Bennie once more (our usual situation – ships in the night, etc) – Sydney was a treat. You do get the sense however that the central city is finding its feet again, baby steps as the hurly burly of suits pushing the pavements was missing from the steel and concrete canyons.
Bar Mille was great – Tasting Plate was awesome and for Sydney, good value!
5. Puffers and Coffee
The good thing about Melbourne is that when the populous go all in on something, they really do go all in – a form of wabi-sabi they have made their own. Be it AFL football, use of crazy hook turns, black clothes, and the ever present coffee shops … but they may have excelled themselves with the take up of the puffer jacket. Even Tim has fallen for this comfy piece of urban wear like the Victorian he apparently has now become.
The days in Melbourne were predominantly spent with Tim and the family as we worked through a number of vineyard issues and plans for the coming months – but Tim did organise a fantastic meal at the Ryne Restaurant in Fitzroy, and we all had a special night (even though our Deux Écus stocks are severely dented causing me much angst). On the weekend we did a road trip to the Twelve Apostles, and first up it is a bit further than you think and two, good gracious it is popular. Marjory loved it, ticked off a bucket list item and took enough photos to overload the cloud.
Not a drop of wine, skerrick of food remained post this awesome dinner – Bravo Ryne!
6. Vineyard Stuff
As before just ticking away at the pruning. Have replaced some steels but not enough. Pruning has lasted longer with all of this extracurricular activities, so crack on man, crack on…
Teroldego for all…
One of the little pleasures you get while in this game is to receive emails from comrades who have sent through a note on your wines. We are very lucky to have such a great group of mailing list members who have watched us grow over the years, many have visited the estate (or have plans to), and some have become good friends through the years. So, to receive an email and the below image from Comrade Will was really uplifting and got me thinking – but first the note:
“i was in a hurry
but this was utterly sensational
scotch fillet pork
(my piggy, finished on chestnuts)
cooked in wood fire stove with old dead vine
radicchio, shallot and stock
mash with preserved roast garlic in oil (lots)
the wine just pitch perfect- grunty, structure, savoury but with fruit and wonderful tannins.
see you next week
Straight up – well done Will for avoiding every capitalization and sending your autocorrect into the darkness. Also double well done for making me immediately think “pork scotch fillet would be great for dinner tomorrow night” and “are truffles in season at Manjimup?”. And I guess a triple well done will be dished out from your fellow comrades as Tim and I thought, “let us finish off this remaining part pallet of Teroldego through an offer to the Mailing List”.
If you use the following code Truffles4All when ordering on line, you can obtain a 20% discount on the last of the Teroldego. This will remain until all of the final stocks are purchased.
The Teroldego has been like a magic pudding as very few retailers stock the wine, and as such it has just been a steady drip of sales each month as a few cases find their way to new homes for eventual consumption. But we are now down to this ~half a pallet stage, and it should be drunk up, and as comrade Will noted above it is drinking superbly well at the current - so a 10 year old red, stored in a temperature controlled shed since bottling, and able to be posted out as spring kicks in where tasty reds are all the rage. How could you say no to that?
Touched a Nerve…
Last month’s topic on wine lists did create a little ripple. Lots of comments agreeing wholeheartedly, and others amusingly made me have a bit of egg on face (“we only found your wines due to a sommelier recommending it” – ooof right in the solar plexus). But, in a way we all note how this area of the wine industry is a bit of a mine field as wines in restaurants are highly marked up on retail and can lead to amazing / disastrous memories.
This month I had intended to write about the great “PixWine” rise and fall, but my superficial pass and first up draft was rubbish. It appeared to me when I first reviewed the failure, as “what did they expect” and “how did they blow so much money!” – but following up on the resulting fallout all is not what it seems. I will do a bit more digging, possibly locate a deepthroat, and put fingers to keys next month.
It has been cold, really cold for the end of winter. Lots of days that barely broke 14°C maximums and taking into account the chill factors, actually hardly broke 10°C maximums. Plenty of rain in the first half of the month, but for the last fortnight of August the rainfall dropped right away, and the paddocks have dried up much quicker than I have seen in the past. All is set for the start of spring as budburst is just around the corner.
The numbers for this month and last year’s figures are provided below:
Avg Maximum Temp 15.9°C
Daily Max recorded 20.2°C
Avg Minimum Temp 7.1°C
Daily Min recorded 2.5°C
The average maximum temperature is much cooler than in 2021, with the average minimum temperature also a fair bit cooler. Rainfall total for 2022 is higher than 2021, ensuring annual rainfall for the region is well above average for the second year running.
Avg Maximum Temp 17.2°C
Daily Max recorded 22.8°C
Avg Minimum Temp 8.2°C
Daily Min recorded 3.0°C
Time to finish the pruning and get some maintenance and vineyard jobs ticked off the list. So much out and about, one now needs to fix oneself on the ground a bit and focus on the job at hand. And that will be me (and maybe Jack), as we start another month of works out here on Blue Poles Vineyard in Osmington.
As always if you have any queries about what has been written or about wine in general, do not hesitate to contact us either by email, Instagram or Twitter and we will do our very best to answer any question.
Blue Poles Vineyard