We’ve returned from a trip to Australia that involved a mixture of business and pleasure. It began with a random meeting with John Key at the Blenheim airport – he came over for a chat…only in New Zealand! In Aussie, it was great to meet our distributor and to see Fiasco on the menu is some Brisbane restaurants. In Brisbane there are numerous new restaurants opening every week so the sheer opportunity was refreshing. The warm Northern Queensland climate also made Townsville very appealing. We had to laugh at the ‘Beating the mid-winter blues” article in the local paper when it had been 27 C and sunny for days.
It has been a reality check coming back home to where the wine industry and the economy in general are still facing hard times. It’s grey, cold, wet and we have thousands of vines to prune and unpaid bills to chase up. We have friends at the moment who have lost jobs through ‘restructuring’ and others whose wine based businesses have hit the wall. I know there are those in Blenheim who will feel no sympathy for the stress being experienced by those in the wine industry, but regardless the ripple effect will move through our whole community. When one bill is left unpaid, the next guy struggles to pay his and so on. We feel such sympathy for those who have lost jobs and/or their businesses but know they are resilient, hard working and positive thinking people who will find new opportunities.
I am an optimist and do believe that things will stabilise. And surprisingly, I do still prefer New Zealand to Australia. We don’t have half as many poisonous creatures, a lack of marked seasons gets a bit boring, our native bush is awesome in comparison, we make better Savvy and hopefully Saturday will prove our rugby boys are superior!