February 25, 2015
The title of this post is from a Calvin&Hobbs cartoon book which was given to me by my friend Thomas Langenohl many many years ago. The cover shows Calvin and Hobbs lying on a branch of a tree and sleepily observing their surroundings, otherwise doing nothing.
This is how it feels right now. We have had three weeks on the farm in Glenburn, Victoria doing (almost) nothing. We, that is my wife Margit and our twin daughters Lucy and Charlotte, and of course me. It is about one year that our family is separated into two subunits: the girls going to university in Melbourne and we, the parents living in Sofia, Bulgaria, worlds apart, after moving for 19 years together in Asia from country to country. As for many close-knit families, we all suffer a little. A little much, I would add. The better for us now, we are hanging out together and just talking, listening, cooking, eating, singing, joking, laughing and pottering around the farm together, enjoying each other’s company, knowing how little time is left for such things in the current state of affairs.
We have all left home at one point or another, my wife Margit at 17 to get an education, me at 19 leaving for military service. International gypsy life seems to have had a super-uniting effect on the four of us. Shared history and memory are very specific in that case, not inclusive and difficult to explain.
All good things are coming to an end. Soon we will part company for another year.
Life on the farm was and always will be bliss. And the days are just packed.
August 29, 2011
I have written about the wines produced by Jean-Pauls Vineyard near Yea, Victoria earlier.
August is a special month anyway since it carries my birthday, and I needed to be spoilt somehow. That is why I opened one of “my treasure wines” the other day. Wine bottles are heavy and one cannot carry many on the plane. Moreover there are customs regulations which somehow limits further the number of bottles on can carry. Believe me it is not easy to decide which bottle to take on the plane.
But we brought this bottle of ‘2007 de Castella Shiraz Cabernet’ by Jean-Pauls Vineyard.
William de Castella is one of our neighbours so to say. His Jean-Pauls Vineyard is situated near the pcituresque country town of Yea, about a 30 minutes drive from our farm in Glenburn. Will is also a member of our association, the Upper Goulburn Winegrowers Association.
Will de Castella started his operation in 1994. From about 6 acres under vines he produces only 200 cases a year, a tiny amount in comparison to much larger family and industrial operations. His vineyard is organically certified and produces exquisite fruit. I just love boutique vineyards and wineries since the passion of the people behind the operation directly transpires into their wines.
The de Castella family carries a famous name, Will’s ancestors where the pioneers of the Yarra Valley and the Victorian wine industry in the 19th century. I love his fruity and delicate wines which are well balanced and just a delight. This blend of Shiraz and Cabernet combines the strength of both varietals.
So this wine made my day after a busy and stressful day in the office. We had it with food, of course, one of our customary family meals which are so enjoyable.
If you should visit Victoria, please take a day and drive up to Yea and check out some of the wineries along the way. You will not regret it.
RMB 6173, Yea, Vic 3717 (postal)
Upper Goulburn VIC
Tel.: +61-03-5797 2235