18 January 2008

There is a great industry journal called “WBM” (Wine Business Monthly”.  Whilst the publication itself is usually serious (except for Busby’s Block), they also send to subscribers a weekly email called “The Week That Was”, a fairly risque commentary extending beyond the wine industry.

The latest commented upon the 747 that lost power due to a broken galley drip tray.  The writer went on to say that terrorists don’t have to resort to bombs and other weapons to prang an aircraft.  They just order a G&T and spill it on the floor!

Getting back to the week that was at Providence, it was one full of disasters.  The irrigation system, which is in high demand to stop the place turning into a  desert, provided one leaky pipe which resulted in drying out the bore and three crumped valves – two underground which had to be dug out to be replaced. As you could imagine, the soil is as hard as set concrete.

On top of that a pressure switch failure in the tractor air conditioning also failed, which resulted in the compressor seizure also killing another component whose name I forget.

There were fuel leaks in the spray cart and also one of the irrigation pumps as well.  To top it all off I knocked over the post rammer.  When it hit the floor it also hit the pipe of the drum oil pump, fracturing it and allowing about 15 litres of oil to syphon out overnight onto the shed floor.

When I went in there this morning to collect a fuel drum for filling I didn’t put the light on, did I?  That’s how I found the oil spill!

On a lighter note, we had a bit of theatre two days ago.  While getting some water for the goat (Gary) from the top spring I roused a wallaby from its hide.  It ran up the wets bank of the property looking for a hole in the fence (there isn’t one).

It then turned down the fenceline at great speed, only to encounter Gary, who immediately rose to the vertical on his back legs in preparation for driving the wallaby into the ground like a fence pole (he does that with stray dogs).  The wallaby turned and ran back, apparently trapped in the corner by Gary and by me.  I

t did get through the fence – through new wallaby wire.  But it left behind a joey, well developed, who immediately ran back to its hide where the mother knew where to find it.

Our winemaker, Guy Wagner visited yesterday for an inspection of the vineyard.  Guy was delighted to find it disease-free and not overcropped.  He has recommended that we keep an old vine block of Pinot separate for processing, which we shall do if the season pans out as we hope it will.

About Rusty Cook

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