Welcome to our website

Welcome to our website.

Finally, after eight years of ‘this is the year to get a site up’, it has happened. Sure, there’s been a lot on. Children, new vineyard, winery extensions, demanding seasons and the like are not really valid excuses but they are fair reasons not to address what has always been seen as an add on, a side line, a non core aspect of our farm, vineyard, winery and business.

That explanation will perhaps rile the astute wine marketers, the ‘make every post a winner’ proponents, those that can offer us some consultative insights into how to make our business really tick but there is a certain ‘of the land and farm’ logic to it. The reason we have been lax about building a website is that after attending to the vines, the wines, the market, the business and nurturing some human balance with family and friends the few of us here at Bindi simply haven’t had the time to commit to what a good site demands.

My desire for our site is to have it as a relatively dynamic source of current news about Bindi activities and general wine industry news and views. Previously there has not been the time to attend to updating a site and keeping it fresh and relevant; it seems only too easy to find a website where the current news is from 2006.

At least every few weeks there are either exciting changes in the vineyard, activities in the winery, travels through the global industry, inspirational wines tasted and enjoyed. My aim is not to create a definitive or comprehensive blog to attract the wine masses (I would be kidding myself if I aspired to that) but to offer some vitality and interest around what goes on in our sphere of wine and life here at Bindi.

I welcome your comments.

The past ten days have smudged and bludgeoned a smear of grey and black across Victoria and the nation. Including the wine industry. The newspapers, radio, internet and television have profoundly shouted the tragedy across the world. It has been a deeply saddening time and one for contemplating ways of helping and acknowledging our own good luck in not having the fires’ fury reeked upon us as it so very nearly was in Ash Wednesday, 1983.

I was immersed in some of this and other nation’s most delicious pinot noirs at the Mornington Peninsula International Pinot Noir Celebration on February, Friday the 6 when I became aware of the Premier’s warnings about the forecast diabolical looming heat and wind. Our farm had been under ember attack in the 43 degree heat of Ash Wednesday when the fire roared just down the road and the warnings were for a day of potentially greater danger. In a move that seemed a bit melodramatic at the time I decided to not attend the Saturday tastings (featuring Le Musigny et al from J.F. Mugnier no less) but rather return home to be on the farm and prepared in case of a bushfire.

Leaving the Peninsula the temperature was just under 20 degrees. Arriving home a few hours later, up in the hills at over 500 meters above sea level, the mid morning temperature had rocketed to 40 degrees. And the eerie, menacing wind had accelerated alarmingly. This was not a day for me to be tasting wine.

Wendy, Ruby, Emma and I went across the paddocks to my father Bill’s house on the farm located next to the winery and we sought some respite in the pool. The plan is to be at the winery if possible in a fire event for a multitude of reasons; it’s clear of bush by several hundred meters, has a stand alone diesel pump to protect the vineyard, house and winery and the fire proof barrel room is cut in against the side of the hill on the eastern side of the winery.

We came back to our house in the bush for lunch but by two o’clock the foul, sinister burn and dry of the day was too threatening to disrespect. We packed the car and left for the security of the winery and, again, the comfort of the pool. Sitting watching the kids thrill in the revitalizing therapy of the cool water provided a bizarre contrast to the full, healthy green leaves that were being stripped and blown from the vines such was the force of the north wind. The temperature was over 45 degrees and Radio 774 was bringing news of fires.

Our vines are, amazingly, pretty much unaffected by the extreme heat and are just beginning to ripen their fruit. Due to the cold and windy conditions experienced in early December the fruit set is very poor and 2009 will produce a small crop (around two and a half tonnes per hectare). The incredibly dry weather from mid December to now further retarded the crop’s development. This reality is not really perturbing to us as we are still here to do what we love, where we love it, the vines are healthy and 2008 (some nearing release) was high in quality and quite abundant.

We’ll have more news in a week or so.