Weekender Herald (30-03-2012)
The 2012 vintage season is coming to an end at Woodside winery Bird in Hand, and chief winemaker Kym Milne is feeling pretty confident about the result.
“We’re currently very busy with vintage, we’re in the latter part now – we’ve already finished picking all our whites and the quality is great,” Kym said. “Both the white and red grapes picked so far look terrific, we’ve got some fantastic shiraz and a great batch of merlot.
“Our pinot noir, sparkling pinot, sauvignon blanc, and chardonnay have all been very good as well. “The shiraz and chardonnay in particular will be outstanding - they’re the two varieties the Adelaide Hills does the best - they’re terrific.” Kym said the weather this season has contributed to the stand out calibre of the grapes.
“The volume is down a bit, but we’re very pleased with the quality of the grapes,” he said. “Generally this season has been very good – in the Hills it has been quite a mild summer, so the yields have been lower, and when there’s less grapes on the vines they ripen a lot quicker.”
“We haven’t had those big heat spikes that we usually get in March, or much heavy rain, so it has been really good and steady - although we certainly don’t need any more sessions of rain like we had last week. “We just need a little more heat now and we’ll ripen the last of the reds off - overall 2012 will be an extremely good quality vintage.”
Cellar hand and Canadian native Clark Tyler has been with Bird in Hand since February, moving here for the 2012 vintage season. “I arrived a few days before I started work and I will be in Australia until June, backpacking and working before enjoying a few weeks of travel time,” he said. Clark has been in the industry for two and a half years, working at two wineries back in Canada, Wayne Gretzky Estate Winery and Creekside Estate Winery.
“I enjoy the wine industry because it’s such a unique industry - each winery can produce the exact same wines in the same region, but they’ll taste differently because of the vineyard they’re sourced from and how they are aged,” he said. “It’s a lot of work to put in, but the end result is a bottle of great wine to have for dinner or casually with friends and family.”
Currently based in Woodside, Clark is enjoying the fruits of life in the Adelaide Hills. “I have really enjoyed working here, it’s a nice area away from the city, and very peaceful compared to what I’m used to back home in Canada,” he said. “Everything I need is a five minute walk away from where I’m living.” Clark said he has thoroughly enjoyed his time here and has developed long term friendships.
“The vibe around the winery has been positive - you build up quite a bond with your co-workers, especially with 12 hour shifts,” he said. “We’ve become good friends, and now that vintage is wrapping up, it’s unfortunate to know we’ll be parting ways, but you know it’s been a good experience when this happens – a few of us are actually talking about finding jobs together and travelling.”
“I’ve enjoyed my time at Bird In Hand, and am thankful to Peter Ruchs and his staff for the opportunity and making new friends, or as you say down here, mates!”