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As detailed in Canowindra News:
Canowindra has once again taken on bigger regionalcentres and come out a winner, with not one, but two 2009 Inland Tourism awards coming its way after the weekend.
Balloon Joy Flights took out the Tour and/or Transport Operators category while The Old Vic Inn – a previous winner at the prestigious awards – was again recognised for its achievements in the Standard Accommodation category.
The two competed against tourism businesses nominated from across the state for the awards, with Narrabri playing host to the premier awards event for the Inland tourism industry on Saturday night.
From the 58 finalists who competed at the 2009 CountryLink Inland Tourism Awards, 18 businesses were awarded in their category with two people also receiving individual awards. Additional awards were provided to four organisations who received an award of distinction and two Judges Commendations…….
Waterhole Blend Cabernet Shiraz Merlot. In broad terms it is a return to our mainstream style with Cabernet now the driving character rather than the Shiraz of the previous release. It’s a blend of 45% 2008 Cabernet, 5% Cabernet salvaged from the wreck of the 2007 vintage, 5% of the very last of our 2006 Merlot and the balance from our yet to be released 2007 Shiraz. It’s dark red in colour, shows a distinct Cabernet spice nose but softened by the Shiraz chocolate (that’s a hint of what the 2007 Shiraz is like.) It is much softer than the straight Cabernet and has a beautiful plummy chocolate cake taste. It is, like all our past Waterhole Blends reds, a lovely “drink now” wine.
To order click here www.tomswaterhole.com.au/shopdisplayproducts.asp
All the grapes have now been crushed, the wine is (mostly) in the tanks and some, such as the Rose, even in the bottle so now we can assess this year’s vintage. Like the famous curate’s egg it was good in parts.
The first thing is that we chose not to make any Semillon this year and only a limited amount of Chardonnay. We just weren’t terribly excited about the quality of fruit we were offered and as we made bumper quantities of the excellent 2008 we decided to use our limited tank space for other things. The modest amount of Chardonnay that we made was “gifted” to us and we are using it for a “back to the future” experiment that we’ll tell you more about it in later Newsletters.
We were generally happier with the reds though some of them posed their own challenges. The Shiraz grapes seemed to take forever for the flavour to come in so the end result is that we picked later and at much higher sugar content (Baume) than we ideally like and this is making for tricky handling. We’re taking the fermentation much slower and cooler than normal and pressed off the skins a little earlier. So far so good. The Cabernet was of good quality but whether it is up to last year’s brilliance only time will tell. It’s still a week or so until pressing so judgment is withheld. The year’s standout was a couple of tonnes of really excellent Merlot that came from a vineyard on the other side of the river. If it’s really as good as we think it is we may consider releasing a one-
Last week we sent a letter to all our suppliers advising them that in future our Sydney office would close and that GT and Judy would cease to be Directors of Toms Waterhole. So what’s happening?
For the last few months we have been undertaking a complete management review, not only of Toms Waterhole but also our two associated businesses, Balloon Joy Flights and BJF Catering (that’s the business we use for our catering activities such as plowman’s lunches and pizzas under the stars.) We have done this with the help of a grant from Cabonne Council and a management consultant from Canberra.
At the end of the review the conclusion was inescapable. we had to bring all three businesses together and make the obvious synergies between them work properly. That was the only way in which all three businesses were going to grow. And if we did it was crazy for GT to be CEO of Toms Waterhole, GK to be CEO of Balloon Joy Flights and Jan and Judy to be buzzing between them like bees in a bottle. So we have centralised our billing and accounting at the winery and GK has taken over as CEO of the combined businesses with Jan as Marketing Director and Company Secretary. GT and Judy still have their interest in Toms Waterhole (although for structural reasons it will be changed a bit) and, most importantly, retain their consulting and advisory responsibilities.
And when it comes down to the wines GK and GT are still going to fight it out every time a new vintage has to go into the bottle. We don’t, actually, know how to do it any other way.
The 2007 Shiraz (with 5% 2009) is a dark red colour with a magnificent aroma of white pepper, dark berries and milk chocolate. On the palate it is massively fruit sweet with a taste that runs the spectrum of dark cherry, plum, chocolate and liquorice with gentle tannins. It is fully mature, a deeply satisfying wne to drink now but one that, we think, will continue to develop for several years. To order now click here www.tomswaterhole.com.au/shopdisplayproducts.asp
We have just received the 2009 vintage report from the Winemakers Federation of Australia and as usual it makes fascinating reading.
If you read the wine columns in the newspapers you could be forgiven for thinking that these days the only white grapes we grow are Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio and most of the red grapes are the newer trendy Italian varieties such as Sangiovese, Nebbiolo and Barbera. Well, you couldn’t be more wrong.
The most widely grown red varieties are, in order of volume: Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir – almost exactly what the traditionalists would expect. But then come varieties such as Petit Verdot, Ruby Cabernet, Mataro, Grenache and so on. The Italian varieties barely get a mention. Sangiovese was a miserable 0.2% of the total crush, Barbera a tiny 117 tonnes and Nebbiolo so small it didn’t even appear amongst the “also grown.”
When it comes to the whites the results are even more astonishing. Chardonnay still accounts for almost half the white crush, followed by Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and, believe it or not, Colombard. We have long suspected that Colombard is, as Jancis Robinson politely puts it “blended with more fashionable grape varieties to add volume and provide useful natural acidity” (Pinto Grigio anyone?) But what came fifth? Muscat Gordo Blanco.
What on earth is Muscat Gordo Blanco? Well, it’s a pseudonym for a grape better known to the rest of the world as Muscat of Alexandria and which, in typically Australian fashion we shorten to Lexia. This year we crushed 56,000 tonnes of it which, at 1,000 bottles per tonne translates into 56 million bottles or bottle equivalents of Fruity Lexia.
Scary isn’t it.
Sunday Lunches at Toms Waterhole We will be hosting hot homemade soup and woodfired Pizza lunches. Many of you have asked for it so Sunday 2nd August and Sunday 23rd August are the next dates. Bookings essential by phoning Jan on 02 6344 1819 or e-mail email@example.com It’s winter time so we will keep you warm in the winery around the pot belly stove and some gas heaters.
We are excited to be going to Narrabri,a 6 hour drive away, this weekend for the presentations. Canowindra has 4 finalists out of 58…including both our businesses..Toms Waterhole Wines and Balloon Joy Flights. We have been finalists for the last 4 years and hope to go 1 better this year.A great feat for such a small town !! These Awards cover all of NSW west of the Great DIvide.
Today we served ploughmans lunches to six “blow in tourists” from Sydney. They started with a winetasting of our full range of Toms Waterhole Wines made in house. The lunch platter consisted of rare honey glazed smoked beef, hungarian salami, Milano salami, proscuito, ham. cheddar cheese, Brie, Blue cheese, swiss cheese, caperberries, sweet gherkins, tomato relish, cauliflower pickles, sundried tomatoes, marinaded mushrooms, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, plus of course our own woodfired breads like pumpkin, wholemeal, french sour dough, and rye.
As if they weren’t full enough we “finished them off” with a genorous serve of home baked ricotta cheesecake made at home. A nice cup of short black espresso coffee topped off a lovely lunch.
They rewarded us by taking home four cases of our wine to put into their cellars.