Each year around twenty friends of Margaret and Robert McDonald help them pick their grapes at Sailors Falls Estate. They came out in force recently to harvest some of this year’s crop.
The annual grape harvest has now become a traditional event. The local bushwalking group have turned up for over a decade now. Participants enjoy the unique experience and there is much conversation between pickers as they go along the rows. They are rewarded with a wood fire roast a pizza or this year hot cross buns.
The McDonalds’s are farming the land that borders the property owned and settled by Margaret’s relatives in the 1860s. Her grandmother was born here. The vineyard was planted in 1999 and features unique cool climate vines such as gamay, pinot gris and gewürztraminer. The vineyard is not irrigated and all grapes are picked by hand.
Once established, curious locals have participated in its maintenance and wellbeing in many ways One such person was George Killingback. To honour his contribution a row was named after him and a sparkling wine given a special label .. “The “George”. The owners wish to thank all volunteers for their valuable contributions over the past 22 years.
The tradition lives on and friends of Sailors Falls Estate enjoyed the time picking the grapes of this vintage in the pleasant conditions that prevailed. Morning Tea was provided by Rob and Margaret. When the harvest has been transformed into beautiful wine, the helpers are given a bottle to enjoy.
Following are a few photos of the 2021 harvest (click photo for a larger image).