“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)





28 July 2016


The dams are all full and the creeks brimming at Yangarra: we've had twice the rain we'd got by this time last year ... I let the yard grass get ahead of my push mower and then it rained and I couldn't get into it wet so I let the vineyard sheep in ... within 24 hours they'd eaten my parsley and rosemary and trashed the Agapanthus whilst weeding it carefully ... it's a good education to observe which grasses they eat first: they're very fussy ... another few days and it'll be as smooth as the vineyard and I promise never to let it get out of control ever again ... unless the lambs look like they need the seasoning of their choice ...

It's a brilliant feeling to appreciate how much of the old Monsanto Roundup regime has in recent years been replaced by the meat, wool and entertaining lambs culture  ... roundup is now a thing you do with the sheep when the vines begin to shoot in the spring, and the weeds have been turned into neat little pellets of fertilizer ... all photos Philip White

That's a wee corner of the Ironheart Vineyard, above, featuring the Screw-Jo Ferru-Jometer, which at six whole twists of extrusion indicates the great pressure thrusting through the ironstone from below ... that's nearly 164 kg of solid drop-forged AISI 4140 chromium-molybdenum alloy steel [joke only] ... 

The ironstone below Casa Blanca is not so much boulders, gibbers or even grapeshot, but more along the lines of tennis-court-sized slabs of red terrazzo waiting to be cut and polished ... the vines grow in scant wind-blown sand and a little clay on the top of this stone ... zoom into this dry summertime shot and you'll see ... the alluvial gravel trapped now in the stone adds some mince steak dapple to the chocolate ... Dot painting? Sky map? Horse coat? ... Some boffins think I'm nuts for daring to suggest this could possibly influence flavour ... you try bouncin your roots off that without it influencing your flavour!!!

I started this ramble talking of winter ... I wonder now how many millions of winters made the stuff below: a few more bits and pieces of ironstone and ferruginous sands in field and collected forms, found within a few hundred metres of my magnetic stone hut in Ironheart:

 [formerly loose] surface Maslin Sand interrupted during its gradual  conversion to ironstone by constant  intrusion of ferruginous water and oxidation

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