Today’s guest blogger is Robert Hill Smith, fifth-generation proprietor of Yalumba.
Happy Birthday to all.
So today all Yalumbarites feel 160 years young. I am not sure I do or will, but we are going to enjoy it .
Yep, it is a significant milestone, and whilst it doesn’t guarantee you anything it feels good!
Australia’s oldest family owned winery and going OK.
My previous bloggers have all displayed [humbly] the pride they feel for Yalumba and where they work. It is a feeling shared by many, and we work hard at sustaining that pride and passion for enjoying work, doing our job well and building a sense of team.
We have so many stars in the wine company that I feel completely humbled and lucky to have been a positive part of a team effort that has achieved so much.
Whether they are in the vineyard, the bottling hall, the cooperage, the laboratory or IT/IS, or our brothers and sisters in the trenches trying to place our wines with a reluctant trade customer! Everyone on our team has a go because we are a can-do company.
What we could not do on Sunday was raise A$100,000+ for our favorite charities, but Steve Lindner told that story yesterday.
My favorite blogger, Jane Ferrari, is not here and nor is my Dad, who would have been 100 this year. How proud I think he would be of our progress. I think many of us dream about borrowing our family from the heavens for half a day and showing them the farm and the children and whatever. One last red and then presto all gone back to base! In chatting about this my Mother, Helen, reminded me how special it is for her as she has now seen Yalumba celebrate its 100th, 140th , 150th and now 160th. She is a star and loves Yalumba and our wines – particularly our Viognier – and recalls the days not long past when we really were a mixed farm. Mum made butter and cream for the families who lived here up until 20 years ago. She has nearly forgiven me for selling the Jersey Cows but we still have sheep, horses, gardens and a big vegie patch.
She has seen a lot of change as has Annabel, my long suffering other half. Someone said to me the other day that if you treat your business as a job you will fail but if as a love and a passion, you shall succeed. Naturally it comes with a cost and my kids remind me of that, but we are all here still smiling and I still look forward to my youngest, Georgia, having her first Shiraz with me! The others have joined their Annabel as ambassadors for Jansz and Riesling but will not help me with Bush Vine Grenache or The Signature !
So today is a big day.
I have 24 “muckers” coming to join me for a wine luncheon in Tank 11. I have always wanted to do this once our Project 160 renovation was behind us . I will unlock the Wine Museum/Den and spoil them all. They are salt of the earth type characters of the Barossa, so larrikans and winemakers will be united for 3-4 hours until another 230 of our local friends arrive to toast our health. At 1849 hours we shall ring the bell and raise our glasses!
Wednesday our Sales Managers arrive for a last throw of the sales planning dice pre Xmas. That night a farewell for comrade Peter Sawrey (who today sited a magnificent 10 tonne piece of granite in our enviro park at the back of the winery) will be held in the Signature Cellar, and then on Thursday we have 220 wine growers coming in to dine and celebrate our birthday and talk about the grape world. In fact the first and only Greek MW will be attending and he imports our wines into Greece. Konstantinos welcome. I might let him talk !
So in signing off. We have had a year of incredible accolades. Our wines, our best ever – individual and classy. Business is fair but we shall prevail. However, for the next 72 hours I for one will be putting any negatives aside and celebrate by talking, eating, living and laughing with colleagues and friends. Thank you one and all wherever you are. Think big, talk small, walk tall. Go to it!