9.09pm, Monday 2nd January, Murray Street, Angaston, Barossa, South Australia
Happy New Year, folks, and I hope that 2012 – The Year of the Dragon – treats you well. Just for the record, yesterday was our hottest New Year’s Day for 112 years. We hit 41.3 degrees C yesterday afternoon, chased it with 40 degrees today, and tomorrow it’s cooling down to 39 … with rain later in the day. Yep, this is definitely summertime, folks, but two weeks tomorrow I get to take off to the USA and Canada for 10 weeks, and with two weeks in the New York area, they’re having a mild moment of 10-12 degree C days so I cannot wait to get over there. That’s my sort of weather. Even looking forward to the snow and ice around Chicago and Minneapolis – plus we get the start of the new roller derby season in Chicago with the Windy City Rollers gals – it’s just going to be nonstop action this trip, I can tell.
In the next week or so, I’ll ask Tony to help me put up the itinerary for the whole trip up in the ‘Dates’ section of the blog, as we have a stack of events planned already – plus a return to the Vancouver Playhouse Wine Festival. I have heard a whisper that not only will I be doing a panel tasting during that program with the incredibly entertaining wine speak man Mark Davidson, but also it looks as though we’ll be doing events together with our new distributor in Portland, Oregon. Yay! That means we’ll be visiting one of my favorite sugar-used-well temples in the world at least once … yes … the unbelievable Voodoo Donuts! Open 24 hours because you should ALWAYS be able to get one!
But what’s doing in the Barossa?
The grapes have set, and it looks like crops will be a touch light at this stage – good for us because that translates into more fruit character and intensity – and everyone has been extremely vigilant with their sulphur sprays – to make sure that any hint of last year’s mildew problems don’t come back to haunt us this year. The signs are up around the Valley for the 2012 Tour Down Under – with Stage 4 finishing in the main street of Tanunda on Friday January 20th. Too bad for me this year, I will miss the invasion of the Lycra clad pushbike athletes as I’ll be just getting set into Baltimore to do events there and Washington DC for about a week. But I will get to catch up with one of the Australian Wine Industry’s top supporters in the US – Mac at the Australian Embassy in DC – and he always manages to organize a tasting when we’re in town where there’s a large number of interesting blokes in various uniforms … so we won’t really miss out!
There are a couple of interesting projects under way in our vineyards, and that’s where we’ll go on Wednesday to show you what’s happening, but for now – this is the Barossa looking north toward Light Pass from Menglers Hill this afternoon. 40 degrees with a nasty old northerly wind.
So here we go, folks … a brand new year … all’s quiet in the winery sheds as the countdown to vintage begins and we go into our 163rd year of solid family ownership. Not wanting to tempt fate, but I’ve got a bit of a good feeling about this year – let’s hope it holds! See ya tomorrow
PS NUK and NUSA office gals – you have your very own Nuriootpa Tigers 2012 Players Calendar on its way to you as we speak. I’m keen to get the good karma flowing right from day one this year, so I hope you like them!