“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)





25 August 2016



I took this photograph of my dear comrade  Stephen Hickinbotham in the early 'eighties. We were heading south down the Otways from his family vineyard and winery on Mt Anakie, a volcano near Geelong. 

This is the Otway Eucalyptus regnans cool climate rainforest. We used to go camping down there in a cove near the lighthouse at the bottom of the peninsula. 

In his visionary winemaking Stephen was a genius, a word I never waste. He was fearless in his curiosity and experiment, and was a savage adversary to the droll big companies that controlled the Australian wine business. 

Australian wine would be very different thing had he not died in a plane crash on the way to a big Virgo birthday party at the Birdsville Races with his lovely partner Jenny O'Regan and six other beloved friends at this time in 1986.  

They were all too young. We were all very young.

1 comment:


Recalling Greg Meyer's opinion of that trip when I told him of it in the All Nations: "I mean how many fucking Mountain Ash and bloody Tree Ferns can you take in? Faaaaaarrrrk!"