Today’s guest bloggers are Darren Broadbent and Ricky Hockshold, from Oxford Landing. They’ll be posting through a “typical” day at the winery.
On this warm spring morning, Ricky “Ricardo” Huckshold (cellar supervisor) is sipping on an instant coffee whilst chatting to Darren “Broady” Broadbent (cellar manager), about today’s work plan. The plan is to put a neat parcel of 2009 Oxford Landing Estate Viognier through final filtration with the next step being bottling and distribution. This wine, as with all our wines, has been lovingly put together. Each step is critical, and with each step we take care to bring our customers the wines they have grown to love. Besides, the boys back at the Oxford Landing Estate Vineyards would get real dark (read: angry) if we stuff up all their hard work in the vineyard. So our minds are on the job.
Here at the Oxford landing winery, we love what we do, we work hard, and we’re a crack team made up of characters that have love for all kinds of different things.
I, Broady, love fishing and can’t help thinking back two weeks ago fishing with some of the Yalumba crew over the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia. This passionate crew of fishermen, known locally as the MFC, who love a good drop of wine as much as a good catch, enjoyed great weather and a feed of Blue Swimmer Crabs, but that’s another story.
I, Ricardo, love my 2-door 1976 Mercedes Benz that I acquired through a dodgy deal with my brother in-law, but that’s also another story.
This wine isn’t going to filter itself.
Young Meredith, “Mary” as we like to call her, whilst setting up and sterilizing tanks with gusto and a smile was all too keen to tell us about the new love in her life and how everything was cool. Young Timmy Greening bails us up and tells of his love for his beautiful car as he prepares hoses and equipment for the Viognier filtration. As Ricardo made the final call to Broady regarding the status of the wine, Shane “Bowling Shane” Brassil quickly leapt into conversation and told us of his love of the Moroccan Lamb he had for dinner last night. Bowling Shane loves sport and loves food. His nickname, “Bowling Shane”, has derived from the call of Ian Healy as Shane Warne – the greatest bowler ever – sends one down the pitch.
PIE LADY! Last week we heard about the Melbourne Cup and the race that stops the nation. This is the pie van that stops a winery. As she drives through the gate in her white van, the words “PIE LADY” echo around the tanks on every cellar hand’s two-way radio. The pies aren’t exactly a gourmet delight, but everyone loves a pie (read: this is not your sweet pumpkin pie kind of pie; these are savoury meat pies).
All systems are go with Sir Digby greeting the Viognier by the flick of a couple valves and into the receival tank. Sir Digby has been here since our beloved winery was built. He was part of the construction team and refused to leave when the first load of grapes arrived. Ah, what do you do?
The filter is purring along and the boys are loving it. Mathew Pick, the Oxford Landing winemaker, pops up to see how things are going. Has a taste of the Viognier straight out of the filter into a glass. Matt is quite often a man of few words but you can see it in his eyes: bloody lovely.
Robert “Lofty” Bondfield and his crew turn up for the afternoon shift and will now take the reins. Lofty is a great golfer and loves his music. He plays in a local Barossa band called Wild Flower, but sorry folks that’s another story.
The love story doesn’t end there. At midnight the next crew walks through the door. Generally made up of 2 blokes who keep an eye on things while the rest of us sleep. On shift is always Adam “El-Ray” Ellery, he loves the nightshift. I’m sure his eyes are getting larger and more owl-like by the day.
This Viognier is bound for overseas. At this end we really don’t know who’s dinner table, picnic or barbeque the bottle will be opened. We only trust that any bottle of Oxford Landing you open you only love it like we do.