Cool Climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay

Bended Knee Vineyard

Earlier Happenings...

Anyone with a small vineyard needs to be multi-skilled and able to juggle a number of tasks at one time. It also has its compensations-like some great lunches whilst ‘researching’ where to place the wines. Here is a taste of what this week has been like.

19 August 2007


I sit down to write this with a steady couple of weeks work behind us. Pruning continues in between other activities - making solid progress now. Bottling has finally got under way; it is quite reassuring to finally have the next lot of wine in the bottle. There are a few more days ahead of us, but everything seems to be going to plan, I thought pruning could be repetitious but at least there are still decisions to make! Bottling is just dead boring (if a little stressful keeping up). All the bottles look the same. All the boxes look the same. All the layers on the pallet look just like the one below. To try and keep the attention tuned and also to minimize the physical stresses, we rotate tasks on a fairly regular basis. Morning tea and lunch become very important, particularly the home made chocolate, chocolate-chip cookies (with just the right degree of sogginess). These are very good and easy to make, using a recipe we picked up in Canada. If you want a good recipe for these cookies, drop us an email.


The last three days has seen Ballarat host a three day cycling Grand Prix: a time trial out towards Learmonth, a criterion up And down the main street of Ballarat (spectacular to watch), and the grueling road race on the same circuit as the Australian Road Cycling Championships-up Mount Buninyong. It is hard enough to do this climb once, it really is madness to do it 15 times and I don’t even manage the same pace as these cyclists!


Last night saw the Annual General Meeting for the Ballarat and District Vignerons Association, with the important part of the evening being the dinner at Tozers at the Ansonia. There were some really wonderful wines on the table, showing once again that Ballarat turns out some very smart Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. In the mix there were some yet to be released wines and some now hard to find examples of wines that have recently sold out in the wake of the release of James Halliday’s Australian Wine Companion. There have been calls coming in from all over Australia; we’ve certainly had a few interesting enquiries. Amongst the wines at dinner last night, we had a very subtle and delightful William Fevre Petit Chablis (2004?) and a 2004 Yabby Lake Pinot Noir which was sensational, earthy and great structure. The food was up to the usually high standards that Tozer’s set, the (choice from the) set menu is reproduced below:



Salad of slow roasted duck, baby spinach, cucumber, apple and hazelnuts with red wine and Dijon dressing.


Tasmanian Oyster Bay oysters served natural or baked with a herb crust


Snapper, prawn and chili Ravioli with fresh tomato and basil sauce


Main Course

Prime aged porterhouse steak (cooked medium) on champ potato served with baked tomato and béarnaise sauce.


Seared Trevally on a potato and pea crush with pappadam and light curry sauce


Confit leg of duck served with a red wine poached pear, asian greens and a star anise jus.



Lemon and Mascarpone tart with a citrus compote


Crème brulee with date and kahlua


Cheese plate

Of course I did what any self-respecting Pinot producer would do-I had the duck!

In previous weeks:

21 March 2007


18 April 2007

8 June 2007

29 March 2007


1 May 2007

5 August 2007

8 April 2007


22 May 2007