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Quality cool climate wine from the Orange wine growing region in New South Wales, Australia

Visitors and Friends blog

Mark Lloyd of Coriole

Stephen Doyle

The last time I saw Mark lloyd of Coriole Vineyards was at his winery when Rhonda and I were travelling around Australia in 1975.

Unlike me, (he's the old grey bastard on the right of the picture) he seems to have aged gracefully since last I met him. But I was impressed with his great Shiraz wines then and remain so today. Everyone eventually makes it to Bloodwood, and you are most welcome Mark, even if it took you thirty-four years to find your way. Bloodwood today it seems, is about where Coriole was all those years ago. Thanks for taking the time to visit, Mark, and for your generous comments. 

Mark Cameron and some other dude

Stephen Doyle

The long and the short of it

The long and the short of it

If the hat fits...

Big Hat, no cattle.

Big head, no brain

Big snake, no rattleI

forever remain big hat, no cattle

I knew from the start

Big boat, no paddle

Big belly, no heart

R. Newman

Lyndey Milan

Stephen Doyle

Grasp, I beseech you, in both hands,, I'm so sorry Madam..Now look here!!!

MS Lyndey Milan has long been seeking balance in all she does. In fact, she's even written a food and wine matching book of that name. We like to think the reason she visits Bloodwood is that she has created so many fabulous recipes from so many superior locally sourced non-food-mile-challenged biologically ascendant ingredients in such an ecologically sustainable manner that she needs to match them all with the best wines available on what's left of the planet. And that's where we come in. Our 2007 Shiraz makes her ultimate mushroom risotto sing.. And as for her chicken pie and celariac mash..what would it be if not balanced by our 2007 Bloodwood Chardonnay. As MS Milan reminds us in everything she does, since time began, it has always taken two to tango.

If you would like to learn more about this icon of Australian quisine, visit her at http://www.lyndeymilan.com

Joe Corrigan

Stephen Doyle

In a previous life, Stephen had a modicum to do with a deceased educational institution which will remain nameless.

Orange Agricultural College was a wonderfully appropriate place for a librarian involved in the physical development of a new vineyard. It had a ready supply of strong young rural blokes in need of a good workout and a good, home cooked feed.

One amongst many of those lucky chaps and chapesses who continues to visit the old folks at Bloodwood is Joe Corrigan. Now while we all know Howlong is, contrary to popular perception, a town in the Riverina and not a piece of string, if I told you that Burrumbuttock is but a string's throw away from Howlong, then you'd be pretty close to where Joe hangs out. He is into sheep and crops and is now quite an old man. I delight in telling ex- students of the era that they are, today, around seven years older that I was when first I taught them. I was an old 34 year old coot when first we met, and now thew are all over 40 and feeling it. I blame it on the sun coming up every day!

The King and Queen of Cuisine

Stephen Doyle

We are pleased to report that the sartorial and culinary tone of the good chefs of Orange continues to impress into the 21st Century.

After 150 years of outstanding restauranteurs and sommeliers sating the palates of the many discerning local diners of Greater Orange, it is wonderful to report to you all that Michael Manners and his main squeeze Josephine Jagger-Manners (formerly of the nationally renowned former Selkirks Restaurant, Orange) have gone out of their way to meld inconspicuously into the Orange food on-selling scene going forward. Not for them the quiet life of a two-hatted country restaurant and the thoroughly well deserved plaudits associated with Australian culinary celebrity. No, now they've now taken up the sausage challenge. You may never have experienced anything like their Selkirks House petit fours de rolled oats et infusion de te au lait but don't miss out on their Mick Borg inspired road kill verjuice matured chippolata de aujourdi, or any of the many mince inspired pasta themed delicacies. If you'd like to catch up, Michael and Josephine's current salon de tucker can now be found out the back of the Woollies carpark under the big green Manners and Borg sign. 

The House That Eric Built

Stephen Doyle

Eric Yuen, who doubles as bottle opener at the annual F.O.O.D. Affair, had his job description re-written by Carol, the most intelligent person in our universe, to include that of architect extraordinare for Bloodwood.

And from the flash picture of the cellar door below it's easy to see what astounding talent he has. We saw a bare hill in need of a brick veneer to get the local Council inspectors off our backs. You see, they maintained we were, against multiple Council health directives, making wine in our bedroom in what is now the winery, whereas, from our real world (ie broke) perspective, we were sleeping in the winery. So something had to be done to get the bureaucrats off our backs and ease the impasse. Eric imagined a home over an underground cellar..with a wide varendah, and flying multiple level awnings linking the winery into the cellar door and the whole structure into the very earth of Bloodwood. Not for Eric a lonely edifice perched on a hill in the mountains of Central Western NSW which will really only look a part of the place when the tide finally comes in. He could see a solid, solar passive practical space with some style and with just enough class to make visitors and inhabitatants feel comfortable and welcome. That's exactly what he delivered in consultation with local builders Lewis & Daniels and more or less against the wishes of our humourless bank manager. And we are very grateful he stuck to his guns. The place really does look better with skirting boards and an eastern wall. You never know, some day we may even install the front steps. 

The Bloodwood Mural

Stephen Doyle

Visitors to the Bloodwood cellar door have had the pleasure of witnessing his magnificent, steadily growing mural which is being periodically painted by Wayne. It is a reflection of the stories which underscore our story at Bloodwood over almost three decades, stories which would be incomplete without the presence of Wayne in both our lives. 

Speak no evil See no evil and Feel no evil.

Stephen Doyle

aka Ian Cook, some wierd dude and Peter Bourn

aka Ian Cook, some wierd dude and Peter Bourn

Would you trust Bloodwood wines to these three retrobates? In effect you already do. 

The magnificent Ian Cook of Five Way Cellars in Paddington sells the wine, the bloke in the middle makes it and the bloke on the right, Peter Bourne writes about it so you can visit Ian Cook on the left to buy the wine so the bloke in the middle can go on making the stuff for Peter to review.  So it is you, dearest customer, who makes all our worlds go round!

Mrs Margaret Whitlam (AO)

Stephen Doyle

Well may we say that everyone eventually visits Bloodwood.

When Mrs Whitlam breezed in, Bea Miles like and positively requested to taste our wines, we automatically reached for the big glasses. I felt a bit like one of Bea's cabbies. I turned into a doting fuss pot inquiring after Gough's health and her own recent battles with the press and generally smoothing her way where ever I could. Not that Margaret threatened to rip the doors of the Bloodwood ute or demand I drive her to Perth while she doggedly sang her latest version of the Internationale as the third bottle of Bloodwood Cabernet Franc took over. No, she did that long ago 19th November proud..right down to her imperious and commanding pose on the Celebrity stool.

Maintain the rage Mrs Whitlam..maintain the rage.

Michael Manners

Stephen Doyle

Dogs look like their owners Let's examine that proposal for a moment. Does HRH look like an angry corgi? In later life, did Arthur Schopenhauer look like a rabid standard poodle as he stumbled about Vienna muttering inconsolably about "will" and "the fourfold root of the principle of sufficient reason?" . Could it be that Mariah Carrey is as hyperactive as her own Jack Russell and could it really be that Christopher Pyne owns a poodle which likes mince? Above is an action shot of the international celebrity Jack Russell, Russell Manners and his well-mannered carer Michael Manners. Michael is trying to teach him (Russell), the Jack Russell, the manners he (Michael Manners) expects of Russell,( the Jack Russell), when he (Michael Manners) wants him, (Russell Manners, the Jack Russell) to pee in public. At Bloodwood we have an Australian Kelpie called Biff (by Karana Rambo, out of Karana Scar). Biff is all teeth, attitude and bad breath. He looks nothing like Rhonda.  I think I'll rest my case, just in case.     

Dogs look like their owners
Let's examine that proposal for a moment. Does HRH look like an angry corgi? In later life, did Arthur Schopenhauer look like a rabid standard poodle as he stumbled about Vienna muttering inconsolably about "will" and "the fourfold root of the principle of sufficient reason?" . Could it be that Mariah Carrey is as hyperactive as her own Jack Russell and could it really be that Christopher Pyne owns a poodle which likes mince? Above is an action shot of the international celebrity Jack Russell, Russell Manners and his well-mannered carer Michael Manners. Michael is trying to teach him (Russell), the Jack Russell, the manners he (Michael Manners) expects of Russell,( the Jack Russell), when he (Michael Manners) wants him, (Russell Manners, the Jack Russell) to pee in public. At Bloodwood we have an Australian Kelpie called Biff (by Karana Rambo, out of Karana Scar). Biff is all teeth, attitude and bad breath. He looks nothing like Rhonda. 

I think I'll rest my case, just in case. 

 

 

Max Allen - After Chardonnay

Stephen Doyle

"Ah, Geoffrey, those were the days, as my great mate Hugh Johnson was wont to opine whilst sipping a startling young Mosel on the banks of the Rhine (or was it a Rhine on the banks of the Mosel) and watching the sun go down yet again over the lilting and slightly decrepit tiled roofs of Bad Zreushammerundstrang ...

Mark Cameron

Stephen Doyle

If he agrees with your broad philosophy on life, winemaking and the importance of giving young blokes a bit of a go, he says "yep!".

If he disagrees about the state of the nation or your approach to arrangement of barrels in the barrel hall the exclamation is invariably "Nope!" "What-The" is reserved for those extremely rare occasions where he is genuinely caught short of a "Yep" or a "Nope".

You can probably deduct from this that Mark is a man of few words. He is, in fact a man of action....when circumstances require. He is capable of doing the jobs of ten people half his age while he works his way up to another "Yep" "Nope" or "What-The" He is Bloodwood's philosopher in training..all he really needs now is a couple of large white standard poodles and a map telling him where other people think Vienna is. It won't be exactly there of course, and the spelling will be all wrong, but that, too is a problem Mark can fix. Like that other bloke philosophising around a few words like "will" and "life", he is an unattached late bloomer. And about the best friend Bloodwood has ever had the luck to encounter. Opposites, you see, do attract.

Thanks Mark.

Jancis Robertson OBE MW

Stephen Doyle

Everybody who is anybody in wine eventually makes it to Bloodwood.Some arrive to great fanfare and ceremony after their people have talked to our people who have responded to their people talking to our people about the imminent arrival of their people at our people's place. We make them welcome of course, but we are always rather relieved when their people move them on to the next people's place.

Others arrive with a smile and a notebook. They show genuine interest in what we are trying to do here at Bloodwood. A very select few also bring intelligence, wit and charm with them when they visit; add generousity of spirit and grace to the list and you begin to understand the privilege of a visit to your winery by Jancis Robinson, OBE., MW. Rhonda and I have enjoyed that experience at Bloodwood, and it is memories such as these which sustain us in this continually challenging industry.

A warm thank you Jancis from both of us for your continuing encouragement, support and criticism of Bloodwood wines over the years.

Irene Finneran

Stephen Doyle

Irene playing drums with her band The Jam Tarts. She insists she's the jam

Irene playing drums with her band The Jam Tarts. She insists she's the jam

Our particular friend Irene is always on hand to do impersonations of us if we need her to and she is just the best person to be around. In fact, if you are a regular visitor to Bloodwood, you may well have had the pleasure of a wine tasting conducted and performed by Irene. Not only does she conduct, but she also expertly plays most of the parts in any drama. One of our favourite wine tasting stories of hers concerns a hyper-active and over sexed kelpie of ours and his attentions for a confident ten year old son of a mature aged wine tasting father. I'll leave you to connect the dots, but the father, pausing mid-slurp over a particularly inviting Bloodwood Shiraz, catches the arching commotion out of the corner of his world weary eye. He pauses for but a brief moment, sighs the sigh only long lost memories evoke, and mumbles resignedly into his tasting glass."I know exactly how he (the kelpie) feels. OK, you had to be there, but try and get that sort of wine tasting experience at Dan murphy's.

Irene is a wonderful observer and participant in life generally, and a completely entertaining, caring and welcome visitor in ours. It is little known that Orange was named after Irene's hair and it is a better place for that fact. Thanks Rene..youknowwhoyouareandwearehappytoknowyou!

His Eccentricity, Liege Raymond Johnson QC; BSE; AC/DC and Bar

Stephen Doyle

Ray Johnson, Emeritus Mayor of Hamilton Island, and learned defender of the bewildered.I grow old, I grow old,

I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

2009 is a year of anniversaries here at Bloodwood. However, even though it's 27 years since we planted our first Merlot Noir vines in the Blend Block, commemoration of this little viticultural achievement pales into triviality when we are reminded that this year marks the 76th anniversary of the visitation to this lonely planet of His Eccentricity, Liege Raymond Johnson QC; BSE; ACDC and Bar, President of Hamilton Island, defender of the incontinent and paladin of the great Concessionaires battle of 98. From a long line of snappy chiffonniers, El Presidente insists that three score years and ten (plus GST) is but a warm-up session for the real thing and offers us incontrovertible photographic evidence of his older brother's continuing good health and composure.

May our sycophantic felicitations assuage Your Resplendence for countless years to come. 

Geoffrey Chapman AC/DC and Bar

Stephen Doyle

There's no accounting for some people.

Just when you think you've gotten their number and you've figured out what makes them tick, their unbalanced approach to the ledger of life leaves you completely at a loss. GC AC/DC and Bar is one such individual. In his professional life he is all about balance and forecasts and planning ahead; in short, inside the office, for Geoffrey, things add up. His is the type of professional activity which is best carried out in a well-tailored suit and patent leather shoes. In his work world, Ray-Bans and silk ties are mandatory. But take one step away from the agricultural abacus and his true Op Shop self emerges. Give him the inside information on the latest pile of pre-loved Bric-a-brac down at Vinnies or access to a power washer and a pile of sticky picking buckets and he's as happy as an accountant with an unexpected reconciliation.

Vintage looks early this year Geoff.

Eric And Carol Yuen

Stephen Doyle

You can't choose your family but you can choose your friends.

And we are indeed lucky to have had Carol and Eric Yuen choose us. Our lives at Bloodwood can be hectic and confusing at the best of times so it is special to us that Carol and Eric are there in the background to generously provide some welcome stability in our sometimes weird world. What would we do without you both?