June Winter is coming
Checking the weather forecast becomes as second nature as everyone is waiting for the rain. Weather patterns and previous yearly rainfalls become common dinner conversation and it is not unlikely that some bets even take place. This is not just recreation but is critical for everybody in the industry. When you look at the impact of the 2017/2018 drought it is fair to say that this is probably the most stressful time for the farming community. The rainfall will determine the harvest for the next year and therefore also the cash flow and the overall livelihood of the business.
And then… suddenly the clouds gather, and the first proper rain comes down and it’s like everything and everyone comes to a standstill for a moment while the reality, relief and rain soak in. Even the animals seem to freeze in their tracks to offer their thanks. The best feeling ever is to wake up the next morning, open the curtains only to realise the rain is still falling…
On the farm
Where there is typically a fight between the cellar and the farm for attention and this time of year is usually when the cellar manages to win the fight. Stock taking, cleaning, label sticking etc. now becomes a priority. You are also likely to see the foreman tinkering with the tractors and other equipment in the safety of the workshop. There is always something that needs adjusting, cleaning and fixing, even when it’s raining.
And in other news
In other areas of the country you will now see invitations to wine shows pop up all over the internet, e-mails and Facebook. Winter always brings images of log fires, hunting trips and a lovely glass of red wine and it is therefore no accident that these events tend to take place during the colder months. If you are lucky you might even spot the winemaker chatting away behind his or her products with a bunch of wine lovers hanging on his descriptions of terroir, aromas and viniculture.
This is also the best time to visit the farms if you want a more authentic experience. There is usually more time to engage with the visitors and wine explorers. If you are lucky you might even get the full cellar tour from the owners.