“Sod the wine, I want to suck on the writing. This man White is an instinctive writer, bloody rare to find one who actually pulls it off, as in still gets a meaning across with concision. Sharp arbitrage of speed and risk, closest thing I can think of to Cicero’s ‘motus continuum animi.’

Probably takes a drink or two to connect like that: he literally paints his senses on the page.”

DBC Pierre (Vernon God Little, Ludmila’s Broken English, Lights Out In Wonderland ... Winner: Booker prize; Whitbread prize; Bollinger Wodehouse Everyman prize; James Joyce Award from the Literary & Historical Society of University College Dublin)





24 October 2013


There were many veteran photographers, some happy phone snappers, and about 100 important South Australian wine anchors at the launch of A year in the life of Grange in the old No. 2 Grange Cellar at Penfolds Magill. The image of me forgetting what I intended to say just before I began gently weeping with joy is by a friend of Peter Gago's (will discover and credit) and this one below by Neil Duncan.

The first Grange was fermented about 30 metres to the speaker's right; fermenting barrels are still lined up in this sacred chamber each vintage.   

The other photographs are by Darren Clements, and not, as I earlier reported, by my beloved colleague, photographer/publisher Milton Wordley, the other dude with his back to the big red wall. 

Milton is a master of a very rare order.  It has been an honour to work with him.  

Darren's photograph below is of Brittany Coff, left, daughter of Garry Coff and Sandy, who's signing the book.  Sandy is daughter of Max and Thelma Schubert. As she officially launched our book, Sandy made a beautiful speech and read some bits from Max's collection of speeches, which nobody else has ever seen.  She reflected on her youth, living around the corner, and hanging out around these famous cellars as a kid with a very famous Dad.  Who would buy pasties for the vineyard workers, and deliver them in the vineyards.  So Anne Olliver served us tiny pasties to munch with our 2004 Grange from magnums. 

But launched?  Opened is probably a better word for a book.  It was no big PR bullshit, but a fair dinkum South Australian wine family show that felt like a respectful and joyous country wedding. It was a wholesome kind of a day.

Penfolds chief winemaker Peter Gago, designer John Nowland, photographer/publisher Milton Wordley, and the writer ... photos by Darren Clements 


Peter Gago praises the Penfolds Grange Crew. That's the Mighty Milton (middle),Whitey, and Sandy Coff onlooking this photo by GiGi Tak Sum Chan ... photo below by Darren Clements
Click for James Halliday review