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Past, present & future - Riders on the storm

13 October, 2020

Hi all, 

Back in March we temporarily closed our doors, and in that final week we had people from the USA, France, Spain, Korea, Ireland, Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Byron Bay, Beechworth and Mount Gambier.

Like many businesses we were closed longer than we expected and it felt strange to open again, I was almost scared, not sure if I would remember how to do my job. The truth is my role is evolving every day.

This year we are in a constant state of change, it’s exhilarating, exhausting and scary. But there are the precious moments that otherwise would not have occurred, these are the silver linings.

This week, just 4 months since re-opening, we've had guests from Mount Gambier, Penola, the Barossa Valley, Langhorne Creek, McLaren Vale, Sydney, Brisbane and Darwin - but overwhelming the majority were from Adelaide. Half my schooling and Uni studies were in the city of churches. There aren’t many degrees of separation in Adelaide, you will always know someone in common. I guess if you like wine you don’t need to travel too far from Adelaide to indulge, spoilt for choice really. But now that people have more time, they are making the effort to travel further. Being a four hour drive from Adelaide doesn't constitute a day trip, you'll probably need something to eat, drink and somewhere to stay! So to those of you who have recently visited or are planning to, we want to THANK YOU,  from the bottom of our hearts. It's awesome to share our part of the world with new people and seeing faces from the earlier in our renovations returning.

The value of getting to know your own state or country, exploring regional Australia is hard to quantify - but it's a powerful investment. The opportunity to learn and connect with your own country, Australia, an ancient continent, steeped in incredible geological and human history cannot be under-rated. From world heritage listed caves with a megafauna fossil history that re-writes the living order of species, to dormant volcanoes and an untouched rugged coastline, a visit to the Limestone Coast will leave you a better person.   Our wine regions are full of down to earth personalities and cellar doors, where you get the time to talk to people, learning more about how we make and grow our wine and why they taste the way they do.

This month we celebrate all things Cabernet in Coonawarra - so for those of you who can't physically get here, we want to bring a bit of our celebrations to you. We are offering a six pack or dozen from our museum, current release and the future.  If you want you can even book a private 'zoom' tasting session with me to taste through those wines. Or, if you are coming to Coonawarra in the future you can book a private tour and tasting with me at the winery.  See below for the 6 packs or dozens, or scroll further down to create your own!

Past, present & future Bellwether Coonawarra Cabernet.
...and why not add
or plan a trip to Coonawarra and experience a...

Last weekend I had friends from over twenty years ago visit. We shared many laughs. It’s wonderful when people can reconnect so easily, bringing different life experiences to the campfire conversation. So it seemed like a good time to crack open some wines from the cellar, including a 98 Parker first growth. What a privilege to be able to enjoy a 22 year old wine with friends you knew before it was even on the vine. The complexity of life that makes us more interesting with age is a bit like wine, the essence of what made it great to start with, is always still at its core - much like old friendships.

Among this weird new way of living, the effort to support an old friend may bring more reward than you ever imagined. Be brave and grasp these simple moments. 

We are hoping, with all our fingers and toes crossed, for the borders to be open again soon for our Victorian friends and family, and spending meaningful times together again... not on a screen! Being halfway between Melbourne and Adelaide we are perfectly located to host reunions here under the gum trees.  

Incidentally the music for this newsletter relates to gigs that my friends and I used to love back in the late 80s, The Australian Doors, we were young and loving the music of a band from before our time. (Riders on a storm was released before I was even born). I’m not normally into cover bands but this was my exception - their gigs were the closest we would ever get. This song also kind of suits this year.  Our road trip playlist keeps growing - so tune in HERE and plan a 4-5 day getaway with us around the camp fire at Bellwether.  

Sue x

...or make up your own premium cabernet pack

and save 15% on our museum vintages below, as well as our very, very limited stock of 2009, 2010, 2013 & 2014 (with free delivery) when you order 6+ bottles. 

Use the code BWCAB at the checkout.  Offer ends 31st October 2020

2006 - the first release

I made this at Stonehaven, using open fermenters, natural yeast and basket pressed with French oak. I purchased the wine as bottled stock. A structured year, cool - moderate weather, dark fruits. Responds well to a good decant a few hours before drinking. Still has many years left though. 

2008 - the second release
(2007 was a bad frost year)

Made at Stonehaven, then purchased in barrel for me to complete maturation and bottling. 2008 was a mild year with a very rapid finish. An early heat wave finished off the year. This was the last fruit hand picked that year early in the morning, after that we machine harvested in the cool of night and hand picked out any shrivel the day before. Lifted black currant, chocolate nose with a touch of Smokey tobacco, sage notes. Very smooth. Will age longer but yummy now. 

2010 was a classic year

This fruit is from the Wetherall vineyard, fermented and matured at Redmans. Fortunately the year was very strong as my daughter was born not long before picking, so I remember plunging after feeds and not much else. It has very supple tannins and beautiful earthy complexity. It will age a long time but is a house favourite.

2015 is our current release

Dark intense fruit, structured, fine tannins. A beautiful drink but will evolve beautifully in the cellar, a really good season where fruit ripened perfectly. Made at Bellwether in the old Glen Roy Shearing Shed using basket press and open fermenters and lots of digging!

We have a six-pack 2015 special - available for $299 (saving over $60) HERE

2016 be the first to try

Dried sage, rosemary, an early smaller harvest. This fragrant nose follows to a wine with great density and length. Will age a long time 25-30 years. Yet to be released, be the first to sample this powerful wine.

2017 was a cool year

Beautiful fragrance, purity and elegance. Dried mint, chocolate, cocoa powder like refined tannins. Great vitality!  Will drink well young with beautiful fruit purity, but will age like an old Aussie Claret with great natural acidity.

Argentine Asado BBQ Grill

We are still basting in the glow of our sell out 2020 Asado, so we have released our next date for those of you who missed out or want to return.  Secure your place early (and your accommodation too as it books up fast).

A traditional, authentic family day, we gather to slow cook some of the best prime lamb in Australia over red gum coals.  You'll be treated to a three-course meal served slowly throughout the afternoon. Treated to  a glass of wine on arrival, the best tasting lamb with chimichurri and salads fresh from our garden, with Bellwether wines available by the glass or bottle. Finish the day with a tasty Argentine treat.

$75 Adult

We have many more wines on our website, and some super special dozen deals.  

Click on the photo below to see our full range available now.