Once again we have delivered our grapes up to Oceanview Estates Winery at Mount Mee, there, over the next year, the winemaker Thomas Honnef will transform our humble Shiraz grape into the 2017 vintage of Millawa Ranch's Mountain View Winery's, "Painted Horse Shiraz" . Each year is so unique, mainly due to weather patterns. Our crop this year was about half the amount of last year, 1.5 tonnes.... But the flavour and sweetness were delectable. We had quite a high percentage of grapes that had started to dry and tasted a bit like a sultana. We hope that this will give us a unique and rich vintage of Shiraz. Ali Dickson our viticulturist timed the pick perfectly to take full advantage of the steamy warmth to push those sugar levels to a maximum. There we were unloading into the crusher 4 hours after finishing the pick. Today we have had 20mls of rain overnight which would have devastated the grapes and dropped the sugar levels..... Well picked Ali. You nailed it.
Thank you so much to the wonderful, stalwart helpers who braved the heat, humidity and darkness to bring in our grapes. Brett, our foundation picker and Kirsty Ringelstein, Stuart Hessey and his son Xavier also on their second vintage, the leader of our family, a man for all seasons Hugh Dickson, our very hard working viticulturist, Ali Dickson and her wonderful partner Chris Gaedtke...who after working in the vineyard for the pick, came to the rescue when a mechanical failure stopped the delivery of the grapes in it's tracks on the Mount Mee Ranges, he stepped in with calmness and compassion and delivered the tonne of grapes keeping them from cooking in the noon day sun.... Life is such an unpredictable adventure. Thank you one and all.
Our beautiful mare Smokin Wagon aka Takoda has been scanned 16 days pregnant to the mighty stallion Lil Jo Cash.....so excited for next year's baby.....
Our Wine producers license is finally official and our resident viticulturist Ali Dickson is also our Licensee. Our medal winning 2014 Painted Horse Shiraz is now on the market. $20.00 a bottle wholesale price. The bottles are packed in boxes of 6 for ease of transport. This wine is drinking beautifully right now. Give us a call to discuss your order and arrange delivery or pick up. The 2015 vintage Painted Sisters is also available. The 2016 vintage of Painted Horse Shiraz has a tribute label to our young Paint Quarter horse that passed away in 2016 "Stylish Like Jagger" This vintage was made to be stored in the cellar for up to 5 years.
Being a small vineyard quantities are limited, don't miss out. At this time everyone who has tasted the wine has loved it.
Today we said goodbye to our first purebred bulls we have raised.
Our boys MR Luther and MR Leroy have been bought buy a farm down in Victoria where they will be joining with some lovely heifers - we will miss this lovely quiet boys and hope they are the first of many we will be raising over the coming years. These guys are weaned at 6 months and then hand fed hay and small buckets of grain for handling purposes. They are very gentle and easy to handle in the yards and we hope their new owners enjoy them as much as we have so far.
Our lovely purebred Wagyu cow E28 had lost lttle weight a while ago and we were keeping an eye on her, giving her a little extra feed when we fed out... then we she went missing. I found her eventually in Upper Valley paddock, lying down. She didn't get up as I approached so I knew she was unwell. I brought her a container of water and a biscuit of hay which she ate quite actively. Over night she got up and came down the hill. As I continued to feed and water her. She seemed to be improving and came back to the herd. A couple of days later I found her down in our Holding paddock. She was near the water trough so I shut the gates so the other cows wouldn't harass her and brought her some feed. I fed her again in the morning and debated about what to do........... I went and did some other chores around the farm and came back about 2 hours later and there was a dead calf. I must have missed it by minutes and was so upset that I wasn't there to help her. I put the calf near her head and she licked it and continued to lick it. I decided to leave the calf there until she realized it was dead and then remove it. An hour and half later I went back to check her and there was another calf also dead....... This too I put up near her head and she lowed and licked it. Tears fell, a few hours later she too died. What a tragic start to our 2016 calving. We have had one set of twins in 6 years so I did not expect the twin to come and kicked myself again for not being there to help...we might have saved the twin if we'd been there when it was born.....Such a sad start to our 2016 calving,
Five days later our Charolais cow A074 who also happens to be the houdini of the herd took off on her own...a sign of imminent birthing..... I checked on her in the evening off by herself and she was munching away peacefully. She is a very experienced mother having had 4 calves for us already so I wasn't concerned. I would check her in the morning.....
First I saw this cute little creamy baby and as I got closer...my goodness there was another one a lovely big red boy... Twins again, nothing short of miraculous a restart of 2016 calving.
Beautiful skies fill the evening in July at Millawa Ranch
With the chilly weather our Wagyu girls are carrying that extra bit of fat and long fuzzy coats to keep them warm....
our oats are thriving and we will be cutting hay again this year if the weather is good to us.