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Winner Winner Chicken Dinner


When my mother-in-law (Joch’s mother) said ‘winner winner, chicken dinner’ about something or other back in the early days of the Joch Bosworth/ Louise Hemsley-Smith alliance, I didn’t know what she was on about. Chicken dinner? But it’s lunch time Anthea.

Fast foward a couple of decades and I know what the saying means now, especially after Friday’s annual Bushing Lunch where our Battle of Bosworth 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon picked up a couple of trophies (Best Two Years Old or Younger, and Best Cabernet Sauvignon of Show).

It’s so good when you win awards at your local event! You can see Scott our winemaker was pretty stoked with the result.


The 2021 Cab is the TWENTY FIRST Cabernet Sauvignon under the Battle of Bosworth label, and we are so proud that it attracted the attention of the judges. We always knew it was a super wine, but it’s fantastic when a team of professional wine show judges from all around the country agree with you.


It was great to see the McLaren Vale Bushing Lunch back in full force this year with about 600 winemakers and vignerons and their friends seated for lunch in a big marquee. Trophies from the McLaren Vale wine show were presented, culminating in the crowning of the Bushing King or Queen (the maker of the Best Wine in Show). The event can stretch on into the night, especially if you are celebrating winning a couple of trophies….time for a taxi I think Joch!


The lunch is also a super opportunity to catch up with old mates and former colleagues. I sent this photo below to Sam who handles our export (he couldn’t come) and he reckoned it looked like a Man Hair Convention. Front and centre is my old boss Chester Osborn from d’Arenberg who would certainly have won the Most Eclectically Attired Man award, if such an award existed.

He did win the Trophy for Best Fiano, which I know he was pretty chuffed about. I also think young Charlie O’Brien (big red ‘fro to the right on the photo) from Silent Noise Wine (son of Kevin and Helen O’Brien from Kangarilla Road Wines) would have been a strong contender in the Most Impressive Barnet Award. (Google barnet)


A change is as good as a rest so they say; after years of being a Grenache-free zone here at Bosworth wines, we decided the time was ripe, so Joch and Woody headed off up to Yangarra Estate in between McLaren Flat and Kangarilla to take some cuttings off Pete Fraser’s bush vines. Joch tells me Peter his father once had some grenache vines, but they were pulled out during the late 80’s vine pull scheme back in the late 1980’s. Doh!


Grafting is backbreaking work, but luckily for the local Ledgard grafting mob, we only grafted about an acre and a half (over Shiraz) so it was a pretty easy day. Now all we have to do is wait. Grafting is a brilliant way to change variety without losing too much production time because the root system of the vine is already established. We are hoping to have something to show for the hard work within a couple of seasons.


When you are facing a tough problem, sometimes you have to go in hard early and roll out the big guns straight away. Joch has been struggling to contain a blackberry patch which has taken hold between a couple of sheds on the Edgehill block. These friendly Boer goats came in and sorted them out, no worries. It’s like a family photo, isn’t it? There’s always one kid that pulls the silly face…


When we said to Joch ‘no more new wines’, Joch heard ‘let’s make some fortified wines’ and as such we now have a Vintage Fortified Touriga (a classic Portuguese style), and a Vintage Fortified Cabernet Sauvignon in the Battle of Bosworth portfolio. The VFC as we call it, is reminiscent of an old-school Aussie Muscat with its nose of Muscatelles. Both different wines but both utterly delicious.


Our favourite USA importers Epicurean Wines (well, our only ones, actually) braved the COVID skies and came to visit us this side of the pond. Cindy, Brian and Gina (who has just come back to work for Epicurean after a 5-year hiatus) came up to Battle of Bosworth for a tour, a tasting and lunch at the Salopian Inn. It was great to see them all. We have been working with these guys on and off, one way and another since 2004.


After a 2-year hiatus because of you-know-what, Louise has been out and about Australia wide in the past few months catching up with some of our state-based distributors. First stop Perth, then Sydney and Melbourne (and Melbourne again), and finally Queensland.  The first gig was at the Four Seasons Hotel in the Rocks for the annual World Wine Estates 3 Winos Trade Day. No-one looked any older at all after the 2-year hibernation. Here are James from WWE and Louise, demonstrating this. Was good to catch up.


It’s been a wet one, that’s for sure. We’ve had a very wet spring both here in McLaren Vale and over on the Island at Springs Road Wines. Every season is different that’s for sure. We will see how it all plays out. In the meantime, enjoy the orgnamental pear tree blossom from the garden.