As we get ready for another busy spring season of new wines and budding vines, I’m faced with an unforeseen conundrum. It comes in the form of a nine pound baby girl named Frances, and the seeming lack of hours in a day to do what I used to do.
Those who have read this blog would know me as a hyper-focused creature of habit, eagerly devoting my time to barn and field. In my defence, the task just draws you in completely – to the point where it consumes much of your thought and attention should you let it…and I do. I’ve managed to convince myself that this is the only possible way to make good wine and damned be the person or thing (aside from my dogs) that gets in the way of this ultimate pursuit!
Enter the cuddly conundrum. My wife, Tanya, and I recently decided to start a family and were blessed with a healthy baby girl on March 19th, 2017 – the ultimate reality check. To say that my priorities have been altered would be an understatement, but not quite in the way that I expected. At a time when I was fully prepared to be overwhelmed and stretched thin, I somehow feel more capable than ever to summon the effort required to produce the best possible fruit that our land will allow. Little Frances has no idea that she’s already had a positive impact on the way I approach farming and life.
Perhaps it is a renewed sense of stewardship for future generations or perhaps it is just adrenaline. Either way, I feel more inspired to work hard and less restrained by previous fears and uncertainties. This is entirely due to the support of those around me: Tanya, my parents, retail staff, vineyard crews and our beloved “Five Rows Faithful”. I know I can count on them to keep the barn humming, even when I’m at home being a Dad.
So no need to worry, the wines will get the same attention they always do – you’ll just have to sit through a few baby pictures to get a taste!