Friday 27 April 2012

Sacrificial Purple Hands

Vintage has a lot to answer for. It’s the time of year when huge amounts of bands are touring, the weather is great, the festivals are on, there are public holidays galore.... and wineries are working through it all! NO FUN! So why do it? It’s an addiction. Hate it when it’s happening, but look forward to it again by the end of the year. It’s the rush which comes from sheer exhaustion. Minimum 12 hours a day, 6 days a week (sometimes even for minimum wage!!) Spend your one night off generously sampling the fruits of previous years labour.... then start it all again! Such an intense time, it’s hard going, but oddly satisfying.
The people you work with can make or break your vintage. Living in each others pockets for a few months certainly sorts the pack. And it can go either way. If you’re lucky enough to experience that vintage camaraderie which is possible with the right dynamic, hold onto it, or you may never line up for a second beating! I was pleasantly surprised on a recent trip to the Barossa. It would seem there may have been Some progress since I was last in town. Caught up with a couple of friends at Bibu – nice to see somewhere new open and showcasing some of the best in the region (by all accounts not without a fight though.... will you people never learn that progress is positive?!) I hope local support can keep the momentum going.... We made our way through the Purple Hands Grenache, following it up with the 09 Shiraz. Old bush vine Grenache, vibrant violet colour, soft tannin, so, so smooth with the right amount of berry sweetness. Great food wine. The Shiraz had amazing length. It was deep and spicy, with an inky blackness – just the kind to give you purple hands! This gear is made by one of the nicest blokes you will ever meet. I have had the privilege of meeting Craig Stansborough on more than one occasion. One of the old-school who got there on hard work and loyalty. Great name! Purple Hands are certainly part of vintage. I stopped playing guitar when I started doing vintage – SORE purple hands. The old tartaric and pms wash does wonders for cauterizing cuts! Pull out your old Bathory vinyl and pay homage to those who “Sacrifice” months of their life every year, for the alcoholic enlightenment of others. It’s a dirty job but someone’s got to do it!