Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Started pruning

Not just started but finished block 4 already :-)
Candy from Hong Kong arrived last Thursday and with her help we started pruning the young vines in block 4. Have finished in no time......but we had to climb the hill about 10 times to do so. Great exercise! :-) Wish we had a 4 wheel bike!!!! Summertime, when the road is drivable, Lucifer (my Honda Jazz) takes me up but this time of the year only the tractor or
your 2 or 4 legs makes it accessible. The other blocks are waiting in line...
Big Red Riding Hood (aka old Toyota truck) had a fatal tantrum with her clutch :-( Paul took her to the last journey she had in St.Imre's service. She will be advertised and sold promptly. If someone wants her in service then good on her! - if not..she will be scrap metal soon. The new arrival is a Dodge. She is an old lady also but with a lot more grace and grunt :-) Currently undergoing some adornment (fitted with anchoring points to be able to transport the excavator).
Exca finally has her new shoes! This was a long saga getting all the bits and pieces from Japan in three different shipments thanks to the incompetence of Hitachi's Launceston team...but never mind, take it easy, she'll be apples, this is Apple Island after all....She is ready to work from tomorrow after some thin copper sheet application to her starter motor, Paul is fabricating now.
Now off to the mountain....I'm showing off our Mount Wellington to Candy today.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Törkő Pálinka (Grappa)

In the Sunday Tasmanian, last weekend, I've read an article about Tetsuya Wakuda's latest visit to our state. In it Jarrad Bevan mentions that the great chef "was excited about a locally made grappa". Now this got me thinking...have they already heard about us being in the process of applying for our distilling license or there is a competitor out there we don't know about?
In case the first is true, I'm Over The Moon...in second case, the Australian market soon will be over-run by locally made grappa!!! :-)))
Of course grappa is known by any self-respecting winemaking nation and any grape aficionado :-)
It is a distillate of grape mark and lees, the by-products of winemaking. The Italians call it grappa and under this name is best known. We Hungarians call it törkő pálinka ( tör = tur from turky, kő = ...now this needs a longer explanation :-) [If you are interested to find out how to pronounce these - impossible-I-was-told - vowels you can find them here ], Pá = pa from pathos, link = link, a = ah). This is how we will name our product so you better learn it... :-)) or you can just say torko palinka :-))) In Transylvania it is made very strong. Can be up to 70% alcohol. Now that is fire water! You drink it as medicine :-)... just a shot before meals to aid appetite and digestion.
Grandma Eszter really used it as medicine. Any tummy bug... out came the pálinka...one big mouthful swallowed (burned all the way down to your stomach, your eyes popped out of your head, takes your breath away so much so that it is said it's only good if you can't thank it)...sure the bug was killed in minutes. She steeped white lily petals in it to use as a rub on sprains and bruises. She soaked various herbs in it to cure all sorts of ailments. Geeee....it smelled and tasted horrible!
We used to take a good supply of pálinka on any trip around the country. Once sailing around the Danube Delta we run out of pálinka on the 4-th day :-) The crew didn't find amusing that solid land was so few and far between :-)) We had to substitute with crude, cheep vodka that was affordable to the 5 of us, young, carefree adventurers navigating Paul's home-made, open-decked tub.
Grandpa Feri was in charge of distilling in our village. In fact our house among the vineyards was at one stage the distillery, still having the large gap on one of the walls - they used to shovel the spent mark through - by the time we married and decided to make it our home. Grandpa Feri died young, when I was 8 years old. I remember him walking down the road from hunting, his shotgun dangling from his shoulder, his pocket always full with lollies for his one and only granddaughter :-) Wintertime, sitting on his lap in the warm distillery, listening to old men tales, in awe of the echoing big hall, the smells, the hissing, clanking, dripping copper pots...
Cheers to grappa! Cheers to pálinka! May our product -when we will be ready to make it and sell it to you- bring good health and fond memories!

PS: My use of word -törkő- is conscious and deliberate. It is how the spirit is named in Szentimre, the village, so this is how it will be called in St. Imre, the vineyard/winery. Törköly is the grammatically correct version.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Quiet week

It has been a quiet week. Weather variable.
We dug up the potatoes from the veggie garden, now Paul has to prepare the soil for the planting of garlic.
Transplanted some flowers -the ones suffering in pots for months- into the rock wall below the parking bay.
Went with Aimee down to Cockle Creek to show her the end of the road.
It wasn't nice and sunny so the photos are a bit morose. Like the weather that day.

Talked to Australia Post about sending our wine with them, sounds good, hope we can get it up and running ASAP and exchanged mail with Boutique Wineries re possibilities of you being able to order online though them.
Wanted to start pruning today but it's raining...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

How you can find us

Thanks Eric for your question.
It is so easy to find us that the obvious didn't occur to me... to tell you all where we are and how to find us.
We are at 6900 Huon Hwy, Dover, Tasmania, Australia.
From Hobart CBD you drive out on Davey Street. It will become the Southern Outlet taking you to Kingston. Before Kingston -at the roundabout- take the left line to Huonville. You are on Huon Highway (A6) now. In Huonville drive straight -through the Huon River bridge- continuing South on Huon Hwy. You will pass Franklin, Castle Forbes Bay and Port Huon. Before Geeveston -on your left- you'll find Scotts Road (C634). This is a shortcut taking you back to A6 before Waterloo. After Surges Bay and Glendevie you are descending toward Dover. We are exactly at the 60 Km sign on the right.
We are open Saturdays and Sundays, 9 am -5 pm but if we are at home you can visit any day! Just phone ahead on 0428 107 451 to allow me time to come down from the vineyard where I might be working.

Saturday, June 7, 2008


The Zork closures finally arrived. They look similar to the wax we were using before. The very big advantage of using these closures instead of corks is that they will prevent not only cork taint but the inconsistency we experienced with corks. We've tried 3 different brands of cork so far with -not very happy- results. Because we don't fine, rarely filter our wines and Paul uses the least amount of preservative or -when the year permits- not at all, the closure is very important for us. We used Zork first on our 07 Chardonnays and we are happy with them :-) It is easy to apply, cost is similar to corks and some permeability is promised (as opposed to steel caps) on which we can't report yet but keep reading this blog...for a few more years :-))
Aimee, our HelpX guest, arrived also. She was helping all day...it made the job easier. Thanks Aimee! Here she is deep in discussing the intricacies of bottling :-)
We finished the Pinots yesterday and the Tiger Blood today.

Paul is rinsing the bottles with antiseptic solution. Notice the new bottle-carrying trolley and the draining rack he made :-)))
And here ...
...the Chief Bottler. :-)))

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Winter arrived

Winter arrived last night.
The clouds are touching the hill. There was a little frost also, gently coating the grass.
It's not raining, just one of those days when you feel like it is time to light the fire and stay Publish Postlonger in bed.
Not much to say about the Melbourne show ...it was probably an exercise with intangible result... will see what the people from Totally South will report...
Paul made the new compartments in the storage room. We'll be bottling next week.

Hannah from HelpX left and Aimee arrives Thursday.
Father and Son had a music session

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