Tag Archives: Yering Station

You haven’t lived until you’ve swum through a vat of vino! BUCKET LIST!

12 Nov



If swimming through a vat of vino isn’t on your bucket list, stop reading this now. Go and write it down … RIGHT NOW!

The story has a special place in my heart for a couple of reasons. 1st I got to swim through a vat of wine and 2nd it’s one of the reasons I hooked up with the Mrs … more on that after Andy’s story.

The following story was originaly published in “Assemblage” the Yering Station Newsletter in Autumn 1999.


The Dirt on the Dig Out by Andrew Matthews

Well it’s that time of year again when a years work comes to a head. Yes folk’s it’s vintage time. For the guys in the winery it means a constant slog of longs days and sometimes even longer nights.  However there is one thing that keeps insanity at bay. The dig out!  For the uninitiated, the dig out involves shovelling all the grape skins from the open vat fermentors into the press. In order to make it interesting Tom Carson our Chief Winemaker, decided that we should have a competition to determine the fastest digger.  Tom has one the last two dig out competitions, but this year there will be no repeat.  The guys want their revenge.  Now there are two things needed for a successful dig out.

1. The all important “gusher” this is when we can’t drain off most of the juice, so when the trapdoor opense the juice takes half the skins with it.  Tom always seems to get the gushers.  It’s probably due to the fact he gets to choose who digs out the vats.  I know it sounds like sour grapes (pardon the pun) but you have to admit it’s all a little but suspicious.

2. Technique.  There are two types of techniques used in digging out.  The first type involves the methodical approach of ensuring that your shovelling rhythm doesn’t change from the first to the last stroke.  The other type is to shovel like “a bull in a China shop” and get out as many skins as possible before you become intoxicated by the alcohol fumes.  I prefer this method.

There was an experiment by technique last year which we call the snow plough.  This involves using the whole body like a snow plough and forcing the grape skins out that way.  Needless to say the results indicated it was a complete waste of time although it did get a lot of laughs.


So, if you ever come to Yering Station during vintage and see one of the guys covered in grape skins and passed out from exhaustion, no he hasn’t gone completely mad, he has just done the dig out!



Getting back to the two reasons this story holds a special place in my heart. One day the valve that let’s us drain all the liquid from the Vat was blocked, sure we could have solved this problem in a number of less pleasurable ways, but, I would have missed the opportunity to tick one off the bucket list. So the solution, yes, it’s true, I got to swim through a vat of vino … yes it did feel AWESOME, all warm and fizzy … oh yes, it put a massive smile on my dial.

But, bigger and better than that, one fine day M, came down to the winery and was the only person outside the vintage crew to do the dig out for the year. Not only, did she borrow a pair of my shorts, which showed an ample amount of leg, but she dug with style and finished the dig out, solo, winning the non-vintage crew prize for fastest dig out and a little piece of my heart at the same time.  It’s true we’re now hitched and have another little wine lover on the way!

Oh, and by the way the prize for winning the digout is a Magnum of FilthyGoodVino = Grand Cru Burgundy. And, yes, it is shared with the entire vintage crew.

1997 Yering Station Reserve Chardonnay, Filthy Good Vino with beautiful casseroled veal from Brenta’s

10 Oct

1997 Yering Station Reserve Chardonnay, Filthy Good Vino with beautiful casseroled veal from Brenta's


1997 Reserve Chardonnay’s peaked starting to fall away. Had a ’99 Reserve Chardonnay a few months ago. Big difference to 99 Reserve Chardonnay which is still fresh as a daisy and gets a yes to #yumminess and #1lambchop. Great length, acidity and texture.

Sharing a plate and glass with the beautiful Maree tonight!