As summer approaches each year, the familiar feeling of angst arises as we anticipate the potential of fire in the upcoming season.
It is constantly on your mind when the forecasts warn you of the weather ahead. Even when the summer deluge comes, it doesn’t take much for it to dry out and the fire threat returns. So now we are moving into Autumn, the fire threat eases … But it is never far away, and it is foolish not to always be aware of the possibility – it is always a relief to get to this time of year without major incident.
For us down in Wootton, the summer season has surprisingly delivered goodness all round. By that, I mean the vineyard, the cattle and the events have all thrived. The biggest surprise to us was the vineyard, as this season really threw everything at it – from extreme heat and humidity, a hail event, powerful winds and a deluge that saw our rivers rise to the highest we have seen it in our 16 years on the property.
And to top it off, the night before we planned to harvest the rain gods obviously didn’t pay attention to the weather forecast and decided to dump its load on us, causing us to reschedule the harvest and risk massive bird damage while we waited for the fruit to dry out. Within 48 hours we decided to bring the fruit in, as the bird damage became a serious threat. We were surprised at the quality of fruit and yes, we had lost a row or two to the birds, but everything considere – we got lucky.
Meanwhile, it has been a relatively low maintenance season for the cattle, as the grasses have been plentiful and the cows and calves have been happily grazing without much complaint. A few of them are never satisfied and are on the constant lookout for a “fresh pick”. Despite being knee deep in a lush green paddock, they spotted the “back paddock” – where we hold our music days – and couldn’t resist the temptation to come sneaking down their secret paths to have a munch on the precious back paddock lawn, providing some unexpected entertainment for a group of party goers celebrating a birthday … Or was it me chasing them away that provided the entertainment!
In the cellar door we have welcomed many locals and repeat customers, who drop in every year while they are on their Christmas holidays. Plus, there have been a growing number of international visitors driving the Sydney to Brisbane journey taking the time to explore the many hidden gems along the way. The diversity of visitors makes every day interesting in the cellar door.
Our summer season “Back Paddock Music” events have enjoyed great weather, with clear skies at each event. Xmas Party in the Paddock with The Trapps, Back Paddock Music days with CARAVANA SUN and BIG FINS plus the Taree PCYC fundraiser were all fabulous days of family fun in the chilled out “Back Paddock”, with no weather interfering with barefoot dancing on the lawn. We’ve welcomed many new faces to these events and are looking forward to the upcoming music days planned for the year ahead.
UPCOMING BACK PADDOCK MUSIC
Sunday, March 27th … EASTER SUNDAY.