Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Bottoms Up: View from The Deep South







Writing about wine, like most things in life, is a matter of perspective. I was reminded of this recently when I received two posts from the Southern Hemisphere.
The first was a harvest update from winemaker Ian Hongell at Peter Lehmann wines in the Barossa Valley noting that this year's 2009 vintage harvest started on January 29 with the crushing of Chardonnay, the earliest picking date for them on record. I've been to the Barossa and New Zealand and Chile and Argentina, and, while I recognize they pick grapes in those locales during our winter, I've not yet wrapped my mind about what constitutes an early budbreak (September 23?) or a late harvest (March 3?). I've not yet reached that Down Under state of mind where everything automatically computes.
The second posting came from Adrian Bridge, CEO of Fladgate Partnership, a photo of him enjoying a glass of Croft Pink, Port's first rose wine, near the South Pole while waiting to make a four-day dash to the top of Mount Vinson, the highest peak in Antartica. It's summer Down There, you know, the time for a good rosy. And so, properly "portified," Adrian reached the mountain top -- 16,062 feet -- at 11 p.m. on January 10 -- still daylight, of course.
So I decided to take an umarked map of the world and turn it upside down (according to our Northcentric viewpoint) to see what things look like from that angle.
I just hope that Adrian didn't fall off while I was doing that.
Until next time....
Roger Morris

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