Vintage nears end with Balinese feast – and more scarecrows

9.44am, Friday 15th April, Yalumba weighbridge, Angaston, Eden Valley

The feast didnt last long

Ninian cooks a feast

The crew at the weighbridge and grape lab have gone onto day shift only, which is why we had the traditional “End of the Vintage Rush” Balinese Feast for lunch yesterday. Ninian – who has so far featured in the grape sampling photos – does the food, which includes her legendary spring rolls. Ask her what’s in them, and all you get is a vague “oh … meat and vegetables”. Nah – these are just great, and she also did a wet prawn curry, dry beef curry, some shredded chicken , and a bean shoot and cucumber salad. I got a quick photo of the lot before it disappeared at a rate of knots! If I ever get that spring roll recipe I’ll let you know!

And more for the scarecrow file – the little lad on the bicycle, the princess being saved from the tree, and down at the Yalumba Nursery – ‘Sticks’ – made completely from bundles of rootlings. I should imagine we’ll see a heap go up this weekend seeing as the weather looks like it’s going to be kind, and the judging is next week.

As far as vintage goes – harvesting will continue until Easter, – maybe even just after. Today it’s still mostly about local Cabernet Sauvignon, some Shiraz from out at Moppa, a bit of Kalimna Grenache, and a bit more Viognier from the Vaughan’s block up behind Yalumba. Even though the weighbridge goes back to single shift, the cellar is still on 24 hour shift and will be for a good while yet. The winemakers are keeping as many vineyard lots as separate as possible – to ferment the fruit from sound vineyards through without any drama, and to make sure that any parcels that show some ill effects of mould presence are easily isolated – and this all requires a lot of attention to detail, and means that all the tank space is at a premium all the time. So they’re busy and will stay that way well after the fruit finishes coming through.

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