One of the reasons we went with the name ‘Fiasco Wines’ is that we wanted something that reflected the action and vibrancy of making wine in Marlborough. A ‘place name’ label just seemed too sedentary to do justice to the reality.
Before gaining first hand knowledge of the industry here, when thinking of winemaking I’d get pictures in my head of little vineyards on hillsides, people carrying grapes in baskets and a wrinkled old man fluffing around over old barrels doing tastings. I guess this was based on what I’d heard of Old World winemaking and it all seemed pretty slow paced and somewhat romantic. But the reality couldn’t be more different. There is state of the art technology; a myriad of different types of people working in the industry and the year just flies by with all that needs doing. Harvesting the grapes is all action, with harvesters and wineries operating 24 hours a day throughout March, April and May. Then there are a massive number of hectares needing pruning and hundreds of workers brought in from overseas to cope with the workload – so June to August is all go. Then the new spring buds burst in September and frost fighting starts – with frost a very real risk until November. There is some amazing technology involved in this and those on the job are often up half the night checking data and making the tough decisions on what action to take – helicopters and wind fans are not cheap and their noise causes a stir with the locals. This time of year is also time to bottle and label the 2009 wines. Ours are being bottled later this month. The end of the year is busy for sales – with all the social events that come with Christmas, summer and general celebrations. So I suggested to Aaron that early 2010 we should have a chance to have a breather and a Fiasco Wines party in the old woolshed on the vineyard. “Sure,” said Aaron but don’t forget we’ll only be 8 weeks or so from harvest then!