But while the memories are fresh, let me hang a few photos of the remarkable people who did the business.
Working from left to right, that's the local member of parliament, Leon "Biggles" Bignell, Minister of Tourism, Agriculture, Food, Fisheries, Forests, Sport, Racing, Tourism and Recreation. Leon is a stalwart lover of his district and state. He was the very brave hingepin that stood against the relentless housing developers and helped us bring on a law that quite simply stops housing creep in the prime viticultural country of McLaren Vale and the Barossa. These two great Australian wine regions owe their future to him. No bullshit.
Then comes Michael Lane, the horticulturer who manages both Yangarra and Hickinbotham estates. Michael leads the national pack in responsible green farm management: having turned Yangarra into what I suspect is Australia's biggest certified biodynamic/organic vineyard, he's now focused on the rejuvenation of the Hickinbotham vineyard.
That's Shelley Torresan behind Michael. With manager Peter Fraser, Shelley's made the Yangarra wines since the beginning. Shell's a stalwart.
Then you see David Swain, the brilliant chef at Fino, and his amazing floor manager and business partner, Sharon Romero. They presented a lunch that has made me weep as I reflect upon it, and the way it interlocked with the brave new wines. Their Fino restaurant at Willunga, along with Bombora Cafe on the Cockle Beach at Goolwa, and the Elbow Room in McLaren Vale, are South Australia's best regional restaurants. Full stop. Go eat.
That's the Napa highlands Cabernet king at the back. Chris Carpenter. He makes all the Jackson Family ultra cool mountain vineyard Cabernets ... Chris has become a valued friend over the last few years, as he comes here from California to make the Hickinbotham wines at the winery which is a hundred metres from my back door. I love watching these dudes cook.
Then you see Peter Fraser, manager of the Jackson family's Australian vineyards and winemaking, and then Charles Seppelt, who makes both the Yangarra and Hickinbotham wines with the whole team above.
I'm a very lucky man to live in the midst of this, watching and marveling.
By Bacchus and Pan we had a great day!