The evolution of Swan Bay Farm has been gradual, but deliberately so. We’ve chosen to embrace the projects we undertake, as well as ensure that the job we take on is executed to the best of our ability, and for the benefit of the Farm’s enhancement and improvement.
With our own hand, we’ve planted thousands of trees, shrubs and plants. We’ve endured Noah’s floods and survived some of the toughest droughts seen in recent times in rural Victoria. And we’ve learned, through much trial and error that building on what we have at Swan Bay Farm should be done with care, consideration and, at times, some caution.
Our dream of wines and vines …
A number of years ago, we began the planning and infrastructure for our own small boutique winery at Swan Bay Farm. The Bellarine is known for producing some of the best Pinots and Chardonnays and the idea of creating a small legacy that is unique and lasting is what drives many farmers and artisans to try their hand at making wine.
The craft of winemaking is not to be underestimated. So many variables need to be considered and worked with, in order to produce a wine that not only instills a sense of pride in the vineron, but is a true reflection of the region in which it was grown. After all, working with Mother Nature, rather than against her is what enables some extraordinary wines to be produced.
The Bellarine Peninsula is no exception.
The beauty and perfection of a wine should not only be credited to the region in which the grapes were grown. The story behind a wine’s evolution will also enhance the flavours and aromas that emanate from every bottle produced.
Swan Bay Farm will be no different. As we contemplate the final stages of planting our vines, we reflect on how this all even began and we find ourselves sometimes incredulous that we are now at this stage, ready to plant, nurture and grow.
As to how this wine will taste is anyone’s guess. But without any doubt, it will be grown with the best of intentions and respect to the soils, the environment and the vines themselves. It will also be our small legacy to the person who is, through varying degrees of separation, responsible for our family to be blessed with such a place as Swan Bay Farm.
Keeping tradition …
My mother-in-law migrated to Australia from Austria many years ago, and married her Romanian sweetheart in Melbourne. With little farming experience, they became farm owners themselves, worked exceptionally hard all their lives and learned everything through trial and error and experience.
My father-in-law was a chemical engineer, who loved concocting his own wines with such high alcohol content, it would have been difficult to consume more than a glass. Over his lifetime, he grafted and produced hundreds of vines, of which we now have one that takes pride of place at the Farm. It is from this one vine that we will propagate new vines to plant, trellis and grow. This single vine is one of the few tokens we have left in his memory, and it seems appropriate to continue the winemaking tradition by improving on and enhancing his own endeavours.
Embracing the seasons …
Every year, as another winter passes and a new spring begins, we look forward to seeing Stan’s vine return to its glory to, once again, produce the loveliest grapes. Maybe we’re biased in our thoughts as to their quality, because of the story we hold close to our hearts, or maybe we just might produce one of the most beautiful wines in recent times from the region. Maybe our connection to the vines through our own story is what will enable us to some day produce an exceptional drop.
To follow through with the lifetime wishes of my in-laws, I do feel there is an obligation to ensure that our plans do come to fruition. It is, however, a challenge we are more than happy to meet. It will be our way of saying ‘thank you’ to them for sharing their knowledge and experiences with their children, as those lessons are now shared with their grandchildren.