Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Let the battle begin

We are in verasion!


Usually I go around the vineyard with camera in hand on the 28-th of February to take photos. This enables me to compare the beginning of ripening time from year to year. This year we are EARLY. So early that the birds noticed the colouring berries before me :-(
But I've noticed the BIRDS :-)
We have an aboundant wild life...kangaroos, potoroos, bandicoots, echidnas, tassie devils, possums, snakes, spiders, lizards, frogs and every description of birds... All are welcome, the farm is big enough for us all, but some are more welcome than others :-))
Kangas peacefully graze with the cows. No problem here! One used to hop down to drink from the Plum Tree lake, causing excited tail twitching among the cats :-)
A potoroo visits the cats' bowl for tit-bits at night. Meeting it first time was a real surprise :-)) I see a "rat" confidently munching between 24 cat-legs...yes, we have more then 5 cats, these belonged to 5 of them...sometime pushing a catface out of the way. THIS was the surprise. Rats are usually in deceased form around the house, neatly deposited gifts on the door step for our inspection :-)) A closer look at "rat" revealed a triangular face, rounded ears...a fury tail bounding off in a not-rat-like fashion..."We have potoroos!!!!" - I ran in to tell Paul the news.
Bandicoots leave their trademark bore-holes,
echidnas amble under the trees,
devils serenade into the night and
the possums occasionally helped with the pruning when they were not occupied collecting plums, apples or pears.
But the BIRDS......
....most busy themselves gathering bugs, worms, weed seeds...they are a workforce! NOT the starlings and the silver-eyes.
The resident starlings
pull their weight all year round until the first Baco Noir berry dare to dress into purple, signaling it's readiness to the Vintage Ball. THEN, they turn into feathered MONSTERS! Gathering on the wires in great flocks, twittering their battle plans than swooping in agreed formation onto the vines TUGGING, PULLING, PECKING, KICKING and GOBBLING everything in sight.
Silver-eyes don't live here. They come alerted by -God knows what- ripe smells carried by the wind, stellar constellation, tilt of the Earth or secret starling calls. They attack differently. Flip-flap in-and-out between the leaves. Nervously jump, hop, skip... peck a mouthful out one berry... flip, jump, hop, skip... peck another mouthful from ANOTHER berry...

OUR battle plan is NETTING.


We finished yesterday block 2 :-)))


Monday, February 25, 2008


We have:

2007 Chardonnay

2004 Pinot Noir
2005 Pinot Noir
2006 Pinot Noir

2005 Tiger Blood - this is a blended Pinot Noir, Gamay and Baco Noir.

2005 Pinot (reviewed by G. Phillips in Hobart Mercury) :
"Glazed cherries and red currant aromas and flavours on a light, clean and nicely balanced palate with the sweet fruit backed by some good savoury notes and refreshing acidity."

2005 Tiger Blood (reviewed by G. Phillips in Hobart Mercury) :
"Bigger, richer and more savoury than the straight Pinot, with dark plum and spice notes on a falvoursome, mid-weight palate nicely balanced in a good food-friendly style."

Friday, February 22, 2008

Building the Cellardoor

Paul is building the cellardoor.
From the first peg in the ground this is HIS well as doing the "men's business" in the vineyard, making wine, designing furniture, making beautiful wooden objects to sell, milling timber for the building and furnitures, digging up stones, building roads and ponds with his excavator, inventing than making some farm machinery, improving woodworking machines to his liking, ringing the bull calves, shooting our ducks and chooks for the table ( yeh, I do the plucking and rest... but "bringing home the kill" is men's business in our household :-)) ), sculptures and paintings (explanation to old friends: not much time left to pure art as you can see)...ect, ect, etc...
If this sound like boasting...IT IS! He is the most industrious, generous, big hearted, talented artist I know and I have the pleasure to live with him. To share our daily struggles, good and bad, in health and in sickness, past and future.
Stone work nearly done...

frames are up......veranda roof is lined

...getting some decorative extras and the outside finished.
We are open for business! :-)))
The inside still needs many hours of work and we apologize to our customers for the rudimentary set-up but we hope for your understanding and invite you to join in the fun of seeing it developing further.


Thursday, February 14, 2008



New life springs in woolly bubbles...


...grows under the Far South sky...


...its sweet burden taken away...


...rests under blue-white covers.

Monday, February 11, 2008

We planted the first grapes in 1999.
By the time we unpacked our belongings on this Paradise Island in 89 there was only on vineyard not pruned :-) That was where we got the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay cuttings from. They promptly went into the ground... at the front of the house. The makeshift nursery was close enough for me not to overexercise myself with just walking before I've spent hours on my hands and knees babying them :-)
We didn't have any implements - hey, we didn't have a tractor to attach them to either :-) - but we acquired some incredibly friendly, helpful, welcoming, generous (imagine all the other superlatives here)...neighbours !!!! John quickly become our Substitute Father with his knowledge in all farm related subjects and his tractor with everything we needed. He ripped the matted pasture for the future vineyard. At some places the rows went serpentine where a big rock dictated...just in case Paul went asleep spraying or slashing later :-)

Saturday, February 9, 2008


The village Szentimre in present Romania

View from the old family vineyard

9 Feb 2008

Paul always denied that the reason he married Kat in 1978 was WINE. She ‘came’ with a vineyard and her great-great father’s 200 year old house up on the hills of Szentimre. Next spring Grandma entrusted the grapes onto his hands and he set out pruning with much enthusiasm. So much enthusiasm that Grandma started crying when rounding the corner out of the village saw the severely pruned grapes. ‘You Boy destroyed them all! You won’t get a bottle off them now’. He just smiled with the knowledge of several viticulture books behind him. ‘Nobody prunes like this in this village for the last 400 years’- lamented Grandma. ‘We’ll see, Grandma, we’ll see…’ said Paul. That harvest saw the best and biggest production in our vineyard. From then on Grandma never questioned the Boy’s viticultural and winemaking philosophy of marrying- not only Kat but- the centuries old tradition of the village’s viticulture and winemaking with modern practices learned out of books.

After an eventful journey Paul arrived to Australia as a political refugee in 1988. Kat followed with Eszter and Janos and they settled in Pemberton, WA. They opened Woodawn, a fine woodcraft and furniture gallery selling Paul’s work. It wasn’t long before Kat couldn’t resist the lure of the GRAPES and started working in the local vineyards. They nursed a dream of planting their own one day.

Friends who moved to Tasmania were telling about Paradise found. So the Molnars packed the kids and the cat into a campervan and seachanged in 1998. They found their weed-overgrown, not-a-handkerchief-size-flat-land, 135 year old farm Paradise close to the Very End of the Road. The nursery was planted in the front yard. Next spring neighbour John’s old tractor wrestled the matted pasture into a ground for the first Pinots. St. Imre vineyard was born.

St. Imre (Henricus, Emeric, Emerick, Emmerich, Emericus, Americus) - the son of Hungary’s first king – was born in 1007. He died in 1031 in a hunting accident – gored by a wild boar- in the forest surrounding Kat’s village. The village was named Szentimre for the prince to be forever remembered. He was a pious, celibate person now revered as the patron saint of young men and travellers.

It wasn’t hard to decide the name of vineyard. Grapes and wine, history and travel link us ALL.

The vineyard is managed with the use of sulphur and copper. Pest control is done by the Poultry Patrol. Paul makes the wine according to his Marriage Philosophy: time-honoured practices, minimal intervention, use of old oak only combined with new research, love and passion.