Feeling a private must seize the day, wine author RICHARD CALVER resolves to pattern the Yarra Valley earlier than it’s too late (and suburbia creeps in).
THE notion of building after which in search of to fulfil a pre-death want record was popularised within the 2007 film “The Bucket Checklist”.
Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson play two terminally in poor health most cancers sufferers who determine to desert the hospital and search to realize the issues which are on their want record for all times.
It’s a film that reinforces the necessity to seize the day. That challenge has change into vital to me in 2022 as a result of my greatest pal of greater than 20 years died this 12 months from mind most cancers and two different shut pals additionally handed away.
So, although I had lived in Melbourne for 22 years, I’d by no means visited the Yarra Valley wineries. My Melbourne pals had been telling me that the suburbs are slowly creeping into this wine-growing space, significantly on the western finish of the valley, and that the higher state of the roads implies that it is just an hour from the town of Melbourne. Act now.
With a pal I’ve identified for practically 50 years, I booked a visit to the Yarra Valley by way of a tour firm referred to as Australian Journeys. It was good to have another person to drive after the depth of focus now wanted when driving the Hume from Canberra to Melbourne: the street floor has suffered from the 2022 flooding; ruts and roadworks abound.
The tour was for the 2 of us, being picked up and dropped off in air-conditioned consolation (the temperature acquired to 33C) and with a two-course lunch at Rochford Wines included, in addition to tastings at 4 wineries, inclusive of a pre-lunch tasting at Rochford. For the day it was $339 a head.
Adam Firmin, the proprietor and our driver, was a really nice, obliging bloke who clearly cherished this area and was educated about its topography and the wineries we visited.
The primary cease was Chandon. As they are saying, no champagne, no acquire so we pressured ourselves to style eight of the Chandon wines at this superb cellar door.
Eleven within the morning is a tad early to begin consuming so the spittoon noticed some exercise, though when it got here to a style of the Late Disgorged 2008 (not often obtainable to the general public for tasting) it was not wasted (and neither had been we – a lot of rehydration is the important thing).
This wine had a youthful bouquet and was complicated though properly built-in. It had a toasty end however clear, with a touch of citrus, and was our choose of the vary supplied.
Joe Foo, the Chandon Wine Expertise supervisor, was a really welcoming host, main us by way of the tastings in an unhurried, educated method, regardless of the rising press of people that got here flooding into the sunshine and ethereal tasting space.
This likeable man instructed of how he’d began within the trade as an occasion supervisor at St Hubert’s (which we later visited) after which acquired his present job. After explaining the bucket record notion to him, I requested: “What are you going to worth most in 2023, Joe?”
His reply was inspiring: “This 12 months I noticed the tragic lack of each my mom and father. It introduced me nearer to them and I’ve to provide household much more time.
“My companion has two children and spending time along with her and the children might be a much bigger precedence for me as a result of my loss has proven the worth that household has above all. I need to expertise, you recognize, happiness with my household.”
And that brings me again to “The Bucket Checklist”. Within the film, the Morgan Freeman character mentions two questions requested of the lifeless by the gods on the entrance to heaven: Have you ever discovered pleasure in your life? Has your life introduced pleasure to others?
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Ian Meikle, editor