The First Harvest

It’s a typically cold, drizzly, South-West winter morning and, untypically, we’re on an outlying Margaret River sheep farm in a shed littered with boxes and trip hazards, hand-polishing and labelling the seemingly endless first release of Vine Collective wines. 

January 23, 2019 | Vine Collective Vine Collective

For some insane reason underground Detroit house has been chosen as the soundtrack for these early hours. The shed is cool, definitely not warm, and many of us are suffering from RSI inflicted by the previous days efforts… But, the mood is buoyant, the bottles are moving, the Arnotts Kingstons are disappearing and the banter is flowing. Because this is a time for celebration – as we assume it always is when you’re bottling your first vintage.

It’s taken a long time to get here. A very long time, if we’re being honest. Endless months spent debating our favourite wine varietals, bottle weights, typefaces, food pairings, release strategies – you name it, we thought about it. And we knew it wouldn’t be easy, and to say it didn’t consume us would be a lie.

Because making wine is hard. 

When the idea first hatched to start a label of our own, we thought “why not?”. We’re relatively level-headed and know what we’re getting ourselves into: we’ve been around the wine industry long enough to know that making wine isn’t easy – it’s a beautiful and chaotic behind-the-scenes clusterfuck of hard work, late nights, sunburns, stained teeth and terrifying hangovers.  

We always liked wine, talked about wine, collected wine, bored people with wine, so making our own kind of made logical sense. We collected odds and ends and weird artefacts. Amateur smugglers of rare bottles, glassware and earthen crockery from far flung exotic locations like South Africa and Argentina – so that should all count for something, right?

Well, sort of. The best way to look back on it was that we were unpreparedly prepared for it… Which is what made it all the more fun – and we wouldn’t have changed it for all the wine in Margs.

It’s been a mind-warping, red-eyed, hyper-educating, cosmically-fruitful blast of everything great and holy about starting out in wine, but here we are. Doing our best. Listening and learning from our first vintage. And loving it.

Welcome to the Vine Collective.

Rather than go into specific details or unfurl a further 10,000 word missive about the underlying philosophies that guide our winemaking, what makes us tick, what we’re drinking this month, or the best way to make cork art, we will save that for future reads. 

You know where we are now. So please feel free to pop past, follow, subscribe, or reach out and keep us up to date with what’s happening in your neck of the woods.

A final note: we would like to thank everyone who has been a part of our journey so far. From our long-suffering families and partners, winery friends, grapepickers, designers, scribblers, box loaders, baristas and ears who have all helped dirty their proverbial nails along the way. This first vintage is for you.

Sincere thanks.

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