“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)





26 April 2015


Thirty five years ago, I was occasionally fortunate to taste wine alongside Alison Hodder, who was the third female winemaking graduate to endure Roseworthy Agricultural College, after Pam Dunsford and Rosie Ritchie. Alison went off to Italy, where she worked for the Food and Agriculture Organisation wing of United Nations, eventually accumulating decades of service assisting over forty developing countries in horticultural development policy 'with particular reference to vegetable, fruit, viticulture and edible mushroom sectors, covering both commercial and urban-peri-urban areas.' 

So it was with great delight I photographed her today, hugging one of the Etruscan columns that support the elegant bullnose veranda of Ironheart Cottage, aka Casa Blanca. And that's her Etruscan partner, Claudio Berlingieri, a mining engineer who has worked in as many countries as she has.

Man we can talk.

What excited me most is the Shiraz they're making in Tuscany. Vibrant, electric wine from clays of various types. After years of bemused scepticism, their neighbours are finally beginning to take her experiment very seriously. Once Alison sets up some Australian distribution for their de Vinosalvo, I shall write at length about her remarkable wine. And yes, of course, she also grows and makes Sangiovese.

We dined on exquisite pizzas from the wood oven of Claudio's niece, Annika Berlingieri, down the lane at Parri Estate.

The adjacent table was stacked with Mary and Jeff Goodieson and their sons. This tireless family makes the best beer ... out of all the murk and nonsense of the current craft beer chaos, theirs is the best I know south of the Tropic of Capricorn, maybe further. Go have a pizza and a Goodies at Parri, or visit them at their beautiful little brewery on Sand Road.  

Twas a great day well had by experts!

 photo Pat Sprague

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

you left your walking stick on the veranda whitey

did you fall over?

another top photo before you did