In the Vineyard: Healthy Vines, Coffee Like Mud

Today’s guest blogger is winemaker Andy La Nauze.

Andy La Nauze

George Girgolas and Ken Carypidis have been growing grapes for Yalumba for many years. They are hard working wine growers, sons of Greek migrants who are always good for a yarn. Their vineyards are located in the often overlooked grape growing region of the Adelaide Plains, just north of the township of Virginia, about 40 minutes down the hill from Angaston. It’s an excellent source of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc amongst others.

George and Ken

In November the vines are flowering and setting their crop for the coming vintage, so it is a great time to get out and see how things are progressing. Our grower liaison, Juliet Henderson, and I travelled to catch up with George and Ken just last week. We’d originally planned to be there mid morning, but with 41 degrees forecast, we prudently left at 7am to make sure we were done before it became too hot. The vines look strong and healthy, berry set seems good where it has completed and the vines look to have got through the recent hot weather unscathed.

No visit to the lads in Virginia is complete without a Greek coffee made by Ken, or Dr Ken, as he is sometimes known. Now these coffees are not for the faint hearted. Here is the basic recipe (per person):

1 part powdered Turkish coffee
1 part sugar
1 part water

Place all ingredients into a stainless steel saucepan. Place pot over gas burner. When liquid boils over, serve in espresso cups.

That's coffee!

It’s the sort of drink that makes you shudder when you drink it. It has the texture of mud and a powerful kick. You leave Ken’s block feeling that little bit more alive than when you arrived. It is always a pleasure to take the time to sit down to one (or two) of these coffees with gentlemen such as Ken and George, especially in a world that is so fast paced and hectic. Relationships like these are what make our jobs so enjoyable.

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