Will the last one out of the winery please turn off the light?

2 April 2021

It’s been another action packed time here at Battle of Bosworth for vintage (#vintage2021), or harvest. We put together a dream team, as usual. We had the anchor men in terms of Joch our brave and fearless leader, Woody on vineyard/ winery duties, Leon helping on the tractor, Spencer the gun harvester driver and Scott (sitting on the front wheel) the winemaker.

The only missing team member there was Erin, who also doubles up as cellar door operative (self-styled booze hag and cellar rat) along with her trusty mutt Eddie. Oooh, look what I found on my hard drive, a photo from 2014 of the pair of them CUTE

Here we are a little later on…Eddie is very agile as you can see – when someone at cellar door said put your paws up on the tasting bench Eddie heard all paws, not just front paws :)

The cellar door team staged a takeover of the winery a couple of weeks ago and cooked breakfast for the winery team. Emma and Jane were on the pans and did an outstanding job. Nice work team. We also managed to slide in a sneaky couple of bottles of bubbles to celebrate cellar door head honcho’s (Janes) half century.

Some people went a little more nuts of course (Erin), but the cellar door and office team had good fun doing a bit of plunging of the ferments, see Hannah in the background; Woody was looking on like a nervous mother, not knowing whether to keep an eye on Han or Sophie behind him who was emptying a fermenter!

We had visitors from overseas, as in Kangaroo Island. Annabel from the Springs Road cellar door popped in with son Arlo, who got right into all things winemaking – ‘best day ever’ he reckoned. Annabel tasted through some 2021 wines which are in barrel. Nice to see you Annabel!

Future winemaker? Arlo checking out a ferment.

Once the ferment is just about finished, the wine (juice) is drained off, and then someone has to dig out the skins so they can be pressed to gently extract the final juice. Erin took this arty shot; it’s actually quite an arduous job in the winery.

We had a mystery tractor driver this vintage, namely one Ian Adam, former Battle of Bosworth doyen of vineyard, winery AND cellar door. Bon viveur and winemaker at his own Dabblebook wines, Ian brought much fun and many laughs to BoB over the years, so it was great to see him help put the band back together. Ian does have SLIGHT reputation for maybe, possibly breaking things.  I dropped some coffees round to the hard working picking team and they were already having a little break. Nice timing, ah no – check out the tractor tyre… old times sake Ian!

Here’s another arty shot from Erin, of the guys harvesting on the island at our Springs Road vineyard. Or maybe Jane our cellar door manager took this one? I think Roger who is the former owner of the Springs Road vineyards (along with wife Kate) may have been driving pick up.

It’s vintage Jim but not as we know it… what’s all this then? Joch and Spencer went to the island to pick some Shiraz, so they told us, and ended up catching crabs instead? Whatever next. Nice looking crabbies there Spencer.

Joch has pulled yet another new wine out of his… winery; Apparently this barrel of Touriga Nacional (Touriga is a Portuguese variety most commonly used for make vintage ports….) has been sitting in the winery for a year or so. And then appeared, just like that….!

Vintage ports are made by picking the grapes nice and ripe and then adding grape spirit to stop the fermentation and ‘fortify’ the wine. I think we are making one from this year too, Joch has already ‘declared’ it (stop press, vintage 2021 is looking very, very good. We needed a good one after the last couple of years of small vintages.)

If you like the sound of a vintage port for Autumn and winter, have a look here

Buy port

And that’s about all for now folks, as we come to the end of vintage. The last shot is of Joch and Spencer returning heroes from a dash to Kangaroo Island to pick some grapes. It’s about 3 hours from Willunga to Springs Road in Cygnet River (including the ferry ride) maybe a bit longer in the truck. Pick some grapes, turn around and come back. A big days work.

Cheers!