I wanted to share with you a moment I had recently.

It was one of those happy ‘YES’ moments you work so hard for and when they come to life you’re left dancing round the room like a mad
person. What made my day you ask?

Well, we have recently hired a new member of the Tahbilk vineyard team, Richard Flatman.

On initial reading you probably think, so what? But, excitingly for me, Richard is a keen enthusiast of managing vineyards organically and now takes the reigns at Tahbilk as chief viticulturist and vineyard manager of Pogue (our vineyard north, up the road).

Richard brings with him a sustainable vineyard philosophy which he sees as better for the people working the land and better for the quality of grapes. He also has loads of experience which has given our team the confidence needed to put some of our big ideas into action.

In Richard’s short time with us we have seen sheep introduced to the vineyards. He has been using sheep in vineyards for just over 12 years during the winter period and has seen the amazing job they do at cleaning up the mid row and under vine. The sheep also enjoy eating any of the old disease spores and depositing them back into the vineyard in a positive way!

All this has immediately reduced our tractor passes and our sprays over this period – a huge positive for our carbon footprint and the grapes.

This is a place I was unsure we would get to when we throttled headlong into becoming as ‘green’ as we possibly could across the whole business.

So for me Richard’s hire is an indication of how far we’ve come and our commitment to a sustainable future.

He speaks my language and lives our philosophy.

I can’t wait to see where this goes.


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