He’s a new Zealander living in Wagga Wagga. So, you see, he does have an excuse. He is also a very pragmatic wine maker who helps us out when it comes to finishing our Chirac fizz. You see, at CSU they have a cave which is well insulated, dark and secure from the attentions of marauding wine science students. We can safely mature our Chirac there until such time as we judge it needs disgorgement and liquoring. This usually takes around four years so it is very handy for us to have someone on staff who knows the drum.
Suppliers and Businesses blog
Cows eat grass. And after they’ve eaten all the grass, they eat hay. This usually happens at Bloodwood in the tight months of February and July. Often though, to keep the herd productive we supplementary feed them pasture cut and baled during the height of spring. That’s where Sarge Barker comes in. In fact our herd is so used to the sound of his little green Triton utility coming in that they erupt into a frenzy of salivation and lactation and stampede in his general direction as he enters Griffin Road. He then pulls out his butcher’s knife and lets the hay have it..while telling the herd Dad jokes..If they only knew.
Mid-West Irrigation supplies every aqua thing except water. Irrigation, even in a climate as traditionally benign as that we enjoy at Bloodwood, is essential for quality grapes. We grow on gravel here at Bloodwood so the vines appreciate a little help at critical times of their growth cycle. Pre bud burst, pre-flowering, and pre-veraison spring to mind in a spring and early summer like we’re experiencing at present. Mr Sproule knows all about pump lifts and dwell times and he is your man when it comes to calculating head. He even installs solar powered pumping systems if you are really serious about your environment. All you have to do is add water.
Mark McGill knows all about wood. He represents Kauri NZ which is our barrel supplier of choice. Our favourite oak for Schubert and Shiraz is Saury 3 year, immersion bent, tight grain from the centre of France. The barrels are always well made and provide quite subtle oak influences to our wine. He also supplies quite a range of wood alternatives and processing aids for those of you in the industry who can no longer get wood.
Impresstik is our printer of choice. John Sirman is our label bloke who looks after our labels at Impresstik. He does his job very well. Over the last twenty years there have been very few stuff-ups which have been John’s fault. The printing is always of high quality and the words we supply are printed in the right order even when they make little sense to his colleagues. And what’s critical to the success of a bottling run here at Bloodwood..the labels arrive on time. In a sticky situation, John’s your man.
Yes I know that they can't spell, and from their business name they're not quite sure where they are or what it is they are doing, but they are our packaging suppliers and they are getting beta.
Our experience as a miniscule winery is that we are too small to be of any financial concern to most of the packaging companies we have dealt with over the years, and as a consequence it is really neither here nor there to the cardboard kings of Australia if Bloodwood gets what it orders, when it orders it. At least our local packager tries to meet our bottling dates, and seems genuinely concerned when it fails. Now we've made a hash of quite a few things during our chequered history at Bloodwood, so we know about stones and glass houses, and the fact is, Centa-Pak is improving. They have presented us with the best print job on our cartons we have seen to date, and their last delivery was on time and complete.
So we feel we can now finally recommend Jeremy and Andrew Scott at Centa-Pak as suppliers to Bloodwood.
Phone 02, 63668100
There's many a slip between cup and lip; or in the case of winemaking¬† between grape and sip, and the one step where Murphy is most active is at bottling. To the uninitiated, what could seem simpler than filling a bottle with wine, twisting a screwcap on to the appropriate orifice, slapping on a pre-glued label and stacking the completed bottle in a pre-printed carton. It all seems a bit boring and repetitive really.
So what could go wrong. Well, in reality, almost everything. The wine may be too cool for its own good; (labels don't like sticking to bottles which have condensation developing on them), there could be too much CO2 or O2 trapped into the wine being bottled: (leading to either a spritzy Shiraz, or worse, an oxidized wine in bottle), the wine may present problems at the final polishing filtration; ( which in the case of Bloodwood is always sterile) the bottles, labels, caps and cartons may not quite match: or arrive on time, (this NEVER happens at Bloodwood), the weather may change on the day; (this upsets most of the parameters above, particularly as we bottle in a semi-open area of the winery) or something as simple as a forklift driver misbehaving on the day could result in partial demolition of valuable winery and bottling infrustructure.
When we bottle at Bloodwood, we usually attempt at least six wines in a session, so the combinations and permutations for possible aggravation are potentially immense. So we need an understanding, professional and entirely competent team to successfully complete the exercise. In Des and Jean from Vintage bottling, we have found the impossible. Now, if I could only convince them to support the NSW Waratahs, then we'd all be happy!
Vintage Bottling can be contacted at 0438 372 391