Happy New Year to all of you. I am having breakfast with my daughters Lucy and Charlotte. We are sitting at a large table in Giant Steps Winery (www.innocentbystander.com.au) in the middle of Healesville and are enjoying this very first morning of the New Year. It is busy here, families eating out and meeting friends, waitresses running from table to table, beautiful guitar music in the background. People are recovering from last nights new years eve celebrations. A large Christmas tree occupies the middle of the restaurant.
Giant Steps Winery (I will write more about this winery later in a separate blog entry) provides for its guests wireless internet connections which is fantastic and this is why I can write this very first blog entry of 2008. We had a wonderful time in Australia so far. It started with the wedding of Michael and Helen on 16 December, a very merry and happy occasion which sat the tone of the rest of our holidays on the vineyard in Glenburn.
At the wedding (I hold a bottle of Bitburger Beer!, my “home” beer from Germany)
We celebrated Christmas in the vineyard with family, my brother-in-law Michael and his new wife Helen, and our friends Florian and Nelly from Jakarta. It was peaceful and very homely, intimate. The weather was splendid and we enjoyed the nature and scenery of Two Hills and its surroundings.
Needless to say we met droves of our friends and had a lot of visitors ever since, hopping from one meal to the next, gobbling up huge amounts of delicious food and drinking gallons of wine from our own vineyard and wines from wineries of the Upper Goulburn and the Yarra Valley.
All is fine at Two Hills Vineyard. The grapes look very good. Despite a freak hail storm on 22 December, which fortunately did not do much damage, the 2008 crop shows great promise. The next vintage could be the best ever. Another good news is that all the grapes are already sold to a keen wine maker who knows the outstanding quality of our grapes. We might even enter a long term arrangement and deliver fruit to this winery on a continuous basis. This is bad news for our own wine-making. The good news is that we still have a couple of thousand bottles of the 2006 Merlot vintage in our hands which we have not released as yet. The few bottles we tasted show all the good qualities of our earlier vintages. You do not have to worry though, we will bring this wine to the market soon.
The newly planted Chardonnay block
I hope your new year started as good as mine. I will be busy with vineyard work in the coming few days before returning to Jakarta. See ya later mate.