“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)





08 April 2017


"It's a Grenache year," winemaker Charlie Seppelt said once I'd followed this morning's harvest of the top of the High Sands Grenache vineyard to the Yangarra winery. The vineyard's just up the hill outside my back door. I love watching what they do. I'm a sucker for the feeling of it all.

Charlie said it with great finality.

These 1946 model G-Spots are in deep wind-blown sand. Their roots go way down to the ironstone and clay, sometimes metres deep. This vineyard has not been watered since Bernard Smart, my neighbour, planted it.

Random bin, straight off the vine. Neat bunches like these from such old bushies have complex, juicy stem systems hidden within them. While some winemakers like to leave some stalks with whole bunches in the ferment, I tend to see them as being full of water and vegetal flavours that don't seem to sit real pretty in Grenache. We're all whoreses for causes. I like to see all the stalks and stems sitting in a stack like this:

Another random bin, straight off the grape sorter: note the wide range of ripeness and berry size, a welcome variation to me, typical of bush vine fruit, indicating a wider range of potential complexities ... gimme dem flavour fractals! ... all photos©Philip White

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