It takes just over 24 hours to return from the Eola Hills in Oregon to the Piccadilly Valley in the Adelaide Hills. That’s if you don’t count the day lost as you pass over that invisible line in the Pacific that can condemn you to losing a birthday if you time your travel unwisely.
That’s also if you don’t fly on an A380 out of LA, the worst airport in the universe. It can be more exciting but delays are likely. We choose to fly the old workhorse 747 out of the very civilised SF airport.
On the afternoon of Monday the 1st of November we left Portland airport at the bottom of the 4th with the SF giants and the Texas Rangers locked at zip all in the “World Series” baseball world championship (exclusive to US teams) and by the time we flew over the East Bay (Berkley and Oakland) the fire works were endangering our flight path. The Giants had won the 6th game and the decider 3 runs to nil.
If you find this sporting information baffling or uninteresting just write to Harvey Steiman, senior editor of the Wine Spectator responsible for reviewing Australian and Oregon wines and he will explain why the Giants victory is more important than the 2009 vintage in Bordeaux.
We left wet and cold Tunkalilla Vineyard in Oregon, the spent yellow leaves already being stripped off the vines by the winds off the Pacific and the fragrant Riesling in tank just beginning the slow journey from juice to wine.
Back in Australia in the past seven days I have walked Tapanappa’s vineyards, The Tiers Chardonnay in the Piccadilly Valley, Foggy Hill Pinot on the Fleurieu Peninsula and the Whalebone Vineyard Cabernet et al in Wrattonbully in bright spring sunshine and balmy air. The lime green shoots of the 2011 vintage are 300mm’s long and the bunches of potential grapes are abundant. After a wetter than average winter and year to date, all three vineyards are in supreme good health.
Over the next four months Mother Nature will decide whether 2011 vintage will be a time for fireworks or not.