It's the second day now of working in the winery to the satisfying sound of a distant continuous clinking. It means the bottling team are hard at work, finishing the 14 months cycle of making Pinot and Chardonnay. They aren't all 14 month cycles: it varies from 5 months for the Rieslings, through to 17 months to the Block 5 and Block 2 wines. But the act of committing wine to bottle is a combination of comfort and anticipation. Comfort, because the uncertainty is over: the wine is what it is and beyond our touch. Anticipation because, somehow, the wine is never properly tasted until you have turned the screwcap and sampled the finished product.
The last of the 2008 wines have been sneaking out of the winery: a pallet to Dubai, others to Thailand, Ontario, Quebec, Switzerland and Greece. A look at that list focuses the mind somewhat. Three of those six markets have been in the news recently and for all the wrong economic reasons. It is a reminder that the storms that have wreaked havoc within global economies are far from over, but it shows that there is an underlying confidence within those on the ground in such places that the market is still there and it is not going to stop.
We wish those countries well, and all the others of the 36 markets to whom we export wine. Let us all hope that the wines we bottle today will be finding a more optimistic mood as they head out to the docks over the next 12 months.