“Old vines aren’t good because they’re old, they are old because they’re good”

This quote attributed to Rob Gibson of Gibson Wines appeared in a Dan Murphy’s ad released today (20 April).  Because of the scourge of phylloxera in Europe, most of the ‘old vines’ are in the new countries, such as Australia, in particular, South Australia.  Whilst Tasmania can’t compete with the alleged 173-year old vines in SA, vines were first planted in Tasmania in and around 1813, with a sparkling wine from Matthew Broughton’s vineyard in New Town, Hobart, accredited with winning a trophy at the London Exhibition in 1854.  Unfortunately, those vines no longer exist, leaving Providence with the oldest vines in Tasmania at 60 years, being planted by Jean Miguet here at Providence, or what was then called “La Provence”.

Wine from ‘old vines’ is good, but still dependent upon the season and husbandry.  Unfortunately, their yield becomes less as the years roll on and, every year, as discussed in a previous blog, they do die, their last gasp signature being a full crop of ripe fruit and not a single leaf!  We have no intention of removing these wonders whilst they live.  Replacement is by layering their next door neighbour with the expectation of fruit from the ‘new vine’ within two years.

About Rusty Cook

Born Bushey Herts UK in 1945. Migrated to Australia 1949. Schooled in Launceston Tas. Served in the RAAF 1963-1986 initially as an instrument mechanic, graduating from 64 pilots course in 1968. Service in Vietnam 1971. Graduate: Navy Staff College in 1984. Retired as Wing Commander 1986. Graduate: Charles Sturt University 1987 with BAppSc (Wine Science). A decade of wine politics 1987 - 2007 including state president (Tas) and national vice-president of the Winemakers Federation of Australia. State services member: Veterans Review Board 1991 - 2015 and chairman of Life Education Tasmania Inc 2007 - 2013. Passionate about wine; keen trekker in PNG; military history.
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