Island Life

We’ve had a quiet few winter months at Springs Road, with the normal cycle of activities occurring – mainly pruning an essential but not particularly exciting activity to watch. Cellar door was closed on Tuesdays (May – September) but is now back open for the spring and summer season from 12-5pm daily.

Dean Wiles Photographer from the island has been coming in to visit and has taken some awesome shots of the place.This is looking up the our long and winding drive way from the main gate which is opposite 761 Playford Highway.

Cellar door is looking awesome – if we say so ourselves. The wallpaper is derived from the map ‘Carte Generale de la Terre Napoleon’ which was drawn by Baudin’s cartographer, Freycinet. This map was the first detailed one of Southern Australia and stretches from the Nullabor all the way through east to Wilson’s Promontory. The Fleurieu Peninsula looks a bit strange, but the level of detail of the map is remarkable considering the age – the map was released in 1808.

We named our most recent wine release after this map, but shortened it a little for ease. The 2017 Springs Road ‘Terre Napoleon‘ is a small volume barrel selection. Joch picked his favourite Shiraz barrels and tucked them away for further maturing, and then blended them to make this sublime Shiraz. It has great length and persistence and bursts with dark fruit (with a hint of orange peel) on the nose and palate. If you are stuck for gifts this would be a ripper with its presentation box, have a look here.

As well as pruning over winter, we have planted some rosemary and lavender around the building and down the path, but Dean will have to come again and take some snaps of that, as clearly that had not happened in time for this shot.

The previous owners Roger and Kate did all of the hard work by planting the vineyard back in 1994, and they still keep sheep and chooks on the property. This rooster is a ripper. Any idea what variety? I think a Plymouth Rock, but answers on a postcard if you are sure.

Mr. Rooster had better be on his guard as we have a new member of the Battle of Bosworth/ Spring Seed / Springs Road wine team. Based on the mainland but beginning to make some visits over to the island, Tigger is a 6 month old standard dachshund and she is very active and enthusiastic (euphemism for high prey drive 🙁 ), although not in this photo, obviously.

I think the sheep are safe, being bigger, but I won’t lay money on it. We use the sheep in the vineyards as weed control as we bring our organic ways to our KI vineyard. We keep weeds under control in the McLaren Vale vineyards by under vine weeding with a dodge plough, and then smother the ones we may have missed using the ‘throwing on’ knife (a blade attached to the tractor) but sheep are the go at Springs Road. Timing is of the essence as we don’t want the blighters eating the spring shoots, so we have to get them out quick smart once spring comes around.

Roger still shears the sheep on the property in this one stand shearing shed. It’s looking pretty moody here in another super Dean Wiles shot.

No blog post is complete without a shot of the bathroom floor tiles, is it? This photo was taken by a Willunga friend who was over with her husband to do the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail, but called in for supplies at Springs Road beforehand. She sent me a photo saying guess where I am. Only the best facilities on the island (self proclaimed!!)! I knew instantly. Joch didnt want these tiles, as they were the most expensive of the 3 samples he brought for us to view. He was outvoted obviously. Check them out when you come and visit us.

Final photo this time from my iPhone of the Gypsy bubbles and Jane’s cheese  (from @secondvalleycheese), both of which interlopers are available in cellar door.

That’s all for now, we will see you on the island.

Cheers, Louise

 

 

 

 

2020 Halliday Wine Companion

It’s that time of year when winemakers get a little bit antsy and have a faraway look in their eyes; the release date of the annual James Halliday Wine Companion is in early August every year; we are up to the 2020 edition now!

Springs Road Kangaroo Island Wines did very well with all 5 wines getting 90 points or more – which is great for the first release of our wines.

Halliday’s comment on the Springs Road Wines was great;

The quality of the wines is impressive.’

Star of the show was the 2017 Springs Road Cabernet Sauvignon which got 94 points!

The yet to be released 2017 Springs Road ‘Terre Napoleon’ Shiraz got 92 points. We are about to get this wine labelled (we are having the bottles screen printed rather than using labels), for a release later in the year.

Here is a sneak peak of the screen printing of the wine label! Strong, clean, classy and fresh, said David from Glassprint, the company that will be doing the work. Just like us, I said.

 

James Suckling Wine Reviews

We had a couple of great reviews from James Suckling (jamessuckling.com) from the USA and his wine Australian wine editor at large, Nick Stock for the  2017 Springs Road Shiraz and the 2017 Springs Road Cabernet Sauvignon, which is awesome!

95 points for the 2017 Shiraz and 93 for the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon. Quietly pleased with ourselves…..

 

Winter is gift time on the Cygnet River Artisan Trail

Something exciting is growing in Cygnet River, where a group of passionate producers have gravitated together to create the Cygnet River Artisan Trail. And the cooler months are the perfect time to dedicate some time to meandering along the trail. During the cool months, the trail’s makers have time to stop, chat, share their stories and products. From 5 July until 30 September, they have a special gift on offer. Spend a half-day visiting each producer on the trail, gather a stamp when you spend $30 or more at each outlet and collect your Cygnet River trail gift bag, containing a special gift from each producer valued at $60.

 

News Round-up

I had to write a news round up for our wine club members (have a look at the benefits of joining such a fine wine club here) and so rather than use it just once, I thought I would double up and post it in various places. There is some news from the vineyards and winery, some of it old news, other bits new-ish. The main news is that ‘it’ remembered how to rain, for which we are eternally grateful.

KI cellar door open

We opened our new cellar door on Springs Road on the 18th December 2018. It was a protracted labour– Louise and kids and dogs were stranded on the island courtesy of the storms we had in mid-December. The wine was stranded too. We had lots of Ikea furniture to put together. We did it and opened only 2 weeks later than we planned. Thanks to Peggy Bosworth (aged 11 at the time) for putting together 3 Ikea outdoor settings and Jane Arnold, cellar door supremo, for keep her (and our) cool. Great effort. We are open for tasting now. (winter hours Wednesday to Monday 12-4, May to September). You can see the KI cellar door dream team, Ruth and Annabel behind the bar, as it were.

New Springs Road KI wines released

This happened at the same time as the opening of the cellar door on KI. It went hand in hand really. We have a Springs Road Chardonnay, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and a blend of Shiraz and Cabernet. The Chardonnay is pictured. The wines are available at cellar door on the island (183 Springs Road when wet, 761 Playford Highway when dry) AND at the Bosworth cellar door too. And soon, very soon, on our new online shop.

Vintage 2019

Another one under our belts (our 19th vintage actually – I just counted them on my fingers). That means we have to have some sort of ‘do’ next vintage to celebrate 2 decades). And this was our third Kangaroo Island vintage too, as the first vintage we made was 2017. We bring all of the KI grapes back to Willunga to make the wines. I think we know what we are doing now, but honestly after all these years and with all of our experience, who did this?  Of course, we never get anything wrong in the office, ever…

Pumpovers

Pump-overs. These are actually a thing! It is the process during red wine fermentation when you drain off the fermenting juice/ wine from the fermenting vessel, and pump it over the ‘cap’ or grape skins which have risen to the top of the open fermenter. The process gives the wine colour, flavour and tannins (structure). It’s an important process so who better to have doing it than the boss. On his birthday. Onya Bozzie

Hotel California

We have had some wonderful people work with us here over the years. Bronnie was our book keeper for what seems like a second but in fact was almost 6 years. She was a veritable terrier when it came to chasing money. She left to go back to nursing, but after updating her training, she was left waiting for the paperwork to go through before she could start work. What to do? Back to Bosworth, that’s what, although this time at the coalface, in the winery in Willunga. Thanks, Bron and great to see you.

KI People

And in other news of leaving, Ruth the Fabulous, who has been instrumental in setting up and running our Springs Road KI Cellar door, is leaving us; she is heading north, swallow-like, to follow the sun. We can’t thank you enough Ruth for your efforts since December, we couldn’t have done it without you. Jane and I headed over to the Island to have lunch with Ruth and Annabel to thanks Ruth for her sterling work. Great tucker from Cactus in Kingscote.

Lambs

It’s lambing season here at Springs Road. While the vines are heading towards their winter dormancy, there is new life sproinging joyously about the paddock. Nothing like a reverse life cycle in a farming system (we do this reverse life cycle thing on our organic Willunga vineyards too – when the vines are dormant, the bright yellow soursobs spring into life and out-compete winter weeds).  On KI the sheep keep the weeds in check.  Of course when the vines start to stir in spring, we have to get the fluffy little blighters out of the vineyards pretty quickly so they don’t nibble the buds and shoots. Agriculture; always about timing!

Springs Road Tea Towels

Everyone loves a tea towel, don’t they, apart from my kids when I make them dry up. We have just got these into cellar door, and they are based on the early map of Southern Australian which was drawn by Baudin’s in-house cartographer, Freycinet.

We have used this map as the basis for our label, and the map is also writ large on the end wall of cellar door as this awesome wallpaper. We did have to manipulate the image a little, so we didn’t lose Kangaroo Island where the window is!

Rain

We had some rain! It has been a long time coming. Everything is greening right up now. More of the same, please, and keep it coming. We even have some water in the dams, and I noticed a pair of Australian shelduck have taken up residence at the big dam. I needed my Birds of Kangaroo Island book to confirm the identification…

Springs Road KI wines around the Country

The Springs Road wines are now available in Queensland (only very recently), Tasmania and now South Australia, as our distributors in each of these states who already sell our Bosworth And Spring Seed wines have happily taken on the new KI wines. Exciting times for these wines.

Well that’s all for now. Autumn and winter are times for pruning and some much-needed landscaping here at the cellar door. Exciting times.

 

Battle of Bosworth opens in KI

 

Battle of Bosworth opens in KI

Katie Spain, SA Weekend

January 11, 2019 5:17pm

I’ll never forget my family’s first trip to Kangaroo Island. We stayed in a humble farmhouse near American River, plucked marron from a nearby dam and spent hours on pristine beaches. My mum (an abandoned joey rearer from way back) made Dad pull the car up next to every dead roo we passed to check the pouch for young ones. It was thirsty work.

Luckily, the wine offering on Australia’s third largest island is on the rise. Second generation McLaren Vale winemaker Joch Bosworth and his wife Louise Hemsley-Smith (the pair behind the Vale’s Battle of Bosworth Wines) opened their new Springs Road Wines cellar door on December 18. It’s located 10 minutes out of Kingscote and offers tastings of their Springs Road Wines brand.

It’s a beautiful spot.

The cellar door, built by McLaren Vale’s K and J Barker Construction, looks out over Nepean Bay and the Spring Road vineyard was originally planted by well-known locals, Roger and Kate Williams. The property is stocked with Roger’s sheep (say hi to him when you visit Roger’s Deli in Kingscote).

Juggling two cellar doors on opposite sides of the deep blue sea is no mean feat and Joch admits their KI chapter was somewhat serendipitous. When vintage 2016 drew to a close he took his Battle of Bosworth crew on a magical mystery tour of the island. While grocery shopping in Kingscote, he paused in front of the local real estate agent and saw the vineyard up for sale. The rest is history.

Their first KI vintage was 2017 and the offering now includes the 2018 Springs Road Kangaroo Island Chardonnay ($35), 2017 Springs Road Kangaroo Island Shiraz Cabernet ($35), 2017 Springs Road Kangaroo Island Shiraz ($40) and 2017 Springs Road Kangaroo Island Cabernet Sauvignon ($40). A small bottling of the top notch shiraz will fall under the ‘Terre Napoléon’ label.

Joch and Louise like to keep things certified organic and local. KI is certified GMO-free and Springs Road is undergoing conversion to certified organic viticulture. The environment provides a unique combination of relatively low rainfall, low soil fertility and a moderate maritime climate (thanks to those cool sea breezes), which results in low yielding vines that produce vibrant, intensely flavoured wines.

All good news for KI and its visitors, eh Skip?