“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)





17 July 2014


We had the most joyous and delicious lunch today at the Jackson Family's Hickinbotham Clarendon vineyard to launch four new red wines which I think have set a new high bar. Not just for McLaren Vale, but for nilly the whole damn thing. Take that with a pinch of salt if you will: I live on their nearby property, Yangarra Estate, where I rent a small flat. I will write about these  beautiful wines when I settle down. 

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!

all photos by Philip White


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

where did shazza buy that ride