Autumn - May 11th 2009

I have just finished pressing the last ferment for this season. The old 1800’s basket press has served me well again, delivering consistently rich and soft pressings that will be used later after maturation in barrels to ensure you guys some broadly palated wines.

As most of you know 2007 was a very dry and hot year followed by the same in 2008. The vines suffered some what in these years but we still managed to make good wines. 2009 also had a very hot period for the first week then ideal conditions. The vineyards were able to adapt over this 3 year period by only producing small amounts of fruit. This was the case particularly with hand pruned vineyards which is the method we use to help mother nature with crop control. Thankfully this worked well and we were provided with excellent ingredient to work with.

Processing presented itself as quiet a challenge. Due to the competitive nature of the market place and of course the economic downturn I thought it wise to cut down on production and only do what I could do by myself. As things turned out with the availability of good fruit I took on more than I originally planned leaving me seriously short on man power and found myself having to do many shifts of 20 hours or more.

In about the second week of picking with the Rockford picking gang, some of the young travellers noticed my fatigue. They suggested they help me in the cellar in the evenings and on the weekends in exchange for food & board. In the end it was a huge help physically but more so it reminded me of how much I enjoy being a part of the wine industry. We had many late nights & weekends in the open air cellar under the moon, beautiful sunsets and sunrises making wine and of course sipping the odd glass. It really is the smell of the ferments and the hiss of the old press that help you find the motivation to keep going.

When the day came for these fine people to leave, it was a little sad but I will always be grateful to them and I am sure they will remember their time here. I am also sure this great working environment has put a positive spin on the wine in 2009. All the crushing production is now done but the work is far from over. I need to rack the wines (take clear wine off lees sediment) moving them around to ensure all the wine is in full tanks & barrels, ready to go through malic fermentation without oxidation. This is really just like a big jig-saw puzzle but again a challenge I enjoy.

The month of May also is busy in the vineyard, we are lightly turning the soil in preparation for seeding the cover crops. These crops will later be turned in as humus & nutrients for the soil, while providing natural weed control as the crops grow. After that it is time to put on the winter woollies and start pruning. This winter I may have to do some promotion work, I think Queensland sounds nice…

You never know I might run into some of you in my travels but if you are coming down my way give me a call. Anyway back to work for me.

Best of Wishes

Tim O’Callaghan.


Stomping is King!


In the early hours of the night working, it is always good to have a couch and duna on the processing floor. Quick nap and back into it.


The colours are beautiful. Too smell it is better, but you have too visit through vintage.

Thatís what we call Good Cake.


Looking in.


Just topping up, the tank that is.


Thatís what you meant by I cut that call short!


One happy hard working camper.


Just a crazy shot of the winery fridge. Kind of creative that fridge.


The ďAĒ Team

 

 
 


Hot Air Balloons in the work place. Who authorised this?


I can be very picky!


This fine gentleman once again offered his services for free. Just finished one of many 12 hour shifts of his own, had a steak & a beer, in a very relaxed state said my ass is not leaving this chair. Being the champ he is, taped himself to the chair & started picking grapes.


One of the fine travellers that made the 2009 vintage possible, as you can see good wine takes good.


A picture says a thousand words.


My God, I canít feel my feet.


Thatís just what we are on aboutÖ


When we were kids our mumís used to tell us off for having this much fun!


Well! Just Cool!


Looking out.


Well I do like the old stuff better than the new stuff.


Making wine is forking good fun.


Pressing to Johnny Cash Ė Good Times!


It is always a beautiful thing when you canít tell who loves who more!


The Picking Crew Ė Food, Wine & in the background at least someone is working.

 
 
 
   
   
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