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Kim Tyrer
24 March 2014 | Stories | Kim Tyrer

What it means to be a busy little winemaker

My Dad once had an employee in the vineyard who worked a little slow. Dad said he used the vineyard post to help see if the employee was moving.

As a child if I ever said I was bored I immediately got a job… I learnt very quickly to keep my mouth shut. I remember one time when Dad lined me up for bottling in school holidays. They couldn’t get the bottling machine to work and after two hours of standing around, Dad called bottling off and all the staff went home. I yelled out “Yes!” followed by a fist punch into the air and Dad just looked at me. I felt bad about that moment as now I am in charge of the bottling machine and there is nothing worse than the machine being temperamental and staff standing around.

One vintage on school holidays I was in charge of plugging the red wine daily….one of Dad’s employees just handed me the tool and said “ don’t worry girlie, we’ll build those muscles up!”

I had a casual working once who came to work and asked for a cup of coffee. After the coffee he said he wasn’t feeling well and wanted to go home …”is that Ok?’ he asked….”Sure” I said “as far as I am concerned you’re not even on the clock yet!” As far as I was concerned he was wasting his time not mine. He didn’t last long.

One weekend I had someone come in and do us a favour in fixing the bottling machine. It was also the morning after a friends going away party. We rocked up into the Galafrey house at 6 am and Mum said “ Gee, you’re at work early.” I replied…” no, I ‘ve just got home.” After a couple hours sleep we were up again at 10am for a full day’s work. It was a long day, but we achieved a lot.

Once I came home from work at about 5pm and Nigel was still out working, so I jumped into bed for a bit of sleep. I was so tired from working hard and stress. Nigel came in and woke me up. “What time is it?” I asked. Nigel replied “7”. I jumped out of bed panicking and quickly jumped into my jeans “oh no I am late for work”. Nigel tried to calm me down. It was only 7pm, not 7am. Whoops….

Once I was working long days during vintage. While we were waiting for a truck to come in late at night I simply curled up on the concrete and had a little nap….why not? My Dad was so good at sleeping anywhere he could actual sleep standing up…no kidding. He did it all the time…and he snored!

During vintage which lasts approximately four weeks it is not unusual to lose 10kgs! Beat that Biggest Loser! During the rest of the year it is not usual to gain 10kgs after drinking, eating out all the time and ….what goes so well with wine…..Cheese!


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