Archive for September, 2010

Winter is behind us and to date we have had almost double the rainfall for all of last year. Things have changed!! The countryside is a picture with brilliant yellow canola in full flower and vibrant green wheat fields growing while you watch them. The dams are full for the first time in 12 years! For us it means the soil profile is full of beautiful fresh water , so now we are awaiting the first green buds to start emerging on the bare vines. We don’t want any more frosts , as they burn the new shoots.

The last 3 months have been spent PRUNING (ahh my aching wrist!) and doing some serious reworking of the vines , this will mean a much reduced crop for next vintage, it should also mean improved quality. It takes that long for 3 of us to prune 30,000 vines. We did get some help from local friends and visitors, spending their Sundays as the pruning team, plenty of chat time and good company for the late lunches that followed. Hopefully they will come back to help pick the vines they pruned then make wine from those grapes. They’ll  be drinking their own wine before they know it.

The lawn mowers have been in the vineyard for the winter, ie sheep , and they have done a great job on the weeds  and fertilised while they were at it.

We are very proud that the whole farm (400ha) is now in conversion to Organic and Biodynamic agriculture, and we’ve installed flowforms for stirring the biodynamic products sprayed around the farm, a specialised spray rig has also been constructed for the job.

We are getting organised to set up a large compost heap, 2 tons of cow manure ,egg shells I’ve been saving for a year, 2 tons of straw ,1 ton of rock dust, newspapers from the last 6 months, you should be getting the idea of size now!!It should be ready to spread out in the vineyard in 6 months.

The more I think about it the greater the realisation of the responsibility that comes with custodianship of land. We have always tried to choose eco (ecological and economic) solutions to our farming practice, this move to organics is another step up .

The winery will be open most weekends now, but it would be prudent to phone and check first.

Great News

Wallington winery has got its organic certification certification

A big thankyou to those who joined us for vintage , the days are long but everyone has their role to play whether it’s picking grapes , picking up bins, washing out bins, helping at the crusher or press, there is something for everyone, and always great food , wine and company!! The wine will develop over the coming year in barrel.

Although we have been working our vineyard and olive grove under a sustainable regime for many years now, we feel it is time to take the extra step and are in conversion to become certified  organic .The whole farm will progress to full organic and biodynamic certification over the next few years.1/4 of our 400 ha property is now in conversion, so we will also be breeding organic sheep and cattle and growing organic crops.

We are very happy to open the cellar door for tastings and meals on request, This gives you a more personal experience of the winery and our wines. However if you can’t get to the winery most of our wines are available for tasting and sales at Taste Canowindra 7days, Ferguson St. 63442332

Olive oil has been produced  this year, not much but what we have is great. So we do have a quantity of cold pressed extra virgin oil . It’s has strong fruit flavours with a  spicy finish.

We have released our new 2005 Shiraz and 2004 Petit Verdot this winter both are great examples of their variety, the Shiraz being rich and spicy, and the Petit Verdot full of ripe berry and earthy richness. At cellar door $18

We also have a quantity of cleanskin wine available, a 2004 Grenache,Shiraz,Mourvedre blend that is not quite of the standard to be labelled Rockdell( our flagship wine blend).

2003 Cervantes Methode Champenoise Pinot Noir. 750 ml Punted Burgundy bottle with crown seal SPECIAL $30 /$150 6 PACK

This is a mighty sparkling red. Named after the author of that most famous book Don Quixote. We thought “tilting at windmills”  “dream the impossible dream” sort of described what we do here, and more importantly in the memory of Anthony who was a Don Quixote type individual.

The Pinot base wine was transported to Petersons Champagne house in the Hunter for refermenting and was left on yeast lees and turned for 18 months before being disgorged in October 06 .It is dry and robust, with a creamy richness. A Special occasion wine.

2003 Rockdell, Shiraz/Grenache/Mourvedre  750 ml tall punted French Claret bottle with stelvin cap

This wine follows its brothers footsteps of the 2002 as our most popular wine. The fragrant nose leads to an explosion of flavour across the palate. A rich, ripe long tasting wine, in the southern French/Spanish style.

After fermentation the grapes were left on skins for 1 week, they were matured in a combination of French and American oak1/3 new for 2 years before blending Shiraz35% Grenache 35% and Mourvedre 25%  & Petit Verdot 5%

This is a big red ,well rounded, loads of flavour and finishes with firm tannin

2006 Chardonnay. 750ml punted burgundy  bottle with stelvin closure SPECIAL $15

I managed to get hold of an unused 1750l(big) french oak barrel ,which when purchased you could see daylight through the staves .Wood is a remarkable  and forgiving product to work with ,so having faith I filled it with water. It took 2 days for it to stop leaking like a sieve and many litres of water .but I then had a magnificent new oak barrel to use .So, Murray couldn’t resist suggesting I use it to barrel ferment the Chardonnay  .The result is a stunning Chardonnay  and with the addition of 5% viognier is a vibrant but rounded wine. It was left in oak for 15 months racked a couple times and bottled non filtered at 18 months.

2009 Rose Grenache  750 ml clear claret bottle with stelvin cap   $12 will be available in the spring

It is a dry style with no residual sugar. Made for summer drinking with floral aromas and soft fruit flavour, it’s a great light luncheon wine


SPECIALS We do have clean skins for sale by enquiry.

JOIN US AT VINTAGE during March and April, most weekends or mid week for the enthusiasts.

Picking starts early while it is still cool. We provide snips, water bottles, bring hats and sturdy shoes. Refreshments will be delivered to you in the vineyard throughout the morning until midday or when the 2 tonne needed are picked, when you will be rewarded with a substantial meal washed down with a range of Wallington wines. You’ll be able to help crush the grapes you’ve picked watch the ferments begin and in 18months time receive some of the wine you had a hand (or foot) in making. Relax in the evening at the winery enjoying the local hospitality.

We have some limited, (8 adults + a few kids), accommodation in our cottage for the very keen, meals etc provided for the helpers.

There are various accommodation opportunities in Canowindra

Canowindra Riverview Motel

The Old Vic Inn

The Royal Hotel

My eldest Isabella 21 is at Sydney Uni studying Social Science/Anthropology.

Nadja 20 Iis enjoying the Wine Making and Viticulture degree she is studying at Charles Sturt Uni, Wagga Wagga, she is also working full time in the winery there and getting great experience

Veronica 18 is the runner of the family and has covered a lot of ground at State ,National level and will represent Australia again  in the Junior women’s World Mountain Running Championships in Italy. She is also about to leave Aus to take up a scholarship in the US for 4 years!

Gabriella 17 continues to be our entertainer, she keeps us all smiling. Big HSC year for her

The dogs Boswell the Jack Russell retains his superior serious attitude, while Sancho ( labradore /retriever) Veronica’s when he feels like it training partner, is now best friends with the new pet pig !! I call it Christmas much to the consternation of the girls.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Margaret, and the girls Isabella, Nadja, Veronica and Gabriella.