Friday, January 31, 2014

By Jingo! It's Australia Day - let's run for the hills!

"Now listen,
Oh we're steppin' out.
I'm gonna turn around,
Gonna turn around once and we'll do the Eagle Rock.
Oh momma!
Oh you're rockin' well!
Hmm yeah you do it so well.."


Well, January 2014 certainly has proved to be a challenging month in many ways, certainly not helped by the spate of fires throughout the state of South Australia, some of which were far too close to my home in the Barossa Ranges - one at Eden Valley and two fires three days prior to that one, even closer, at Flaxmans Valley. In the thirty years I have lived in this region, I had never seen anything like it, nor felt the fear of a bush/grass fire, so personally. A blood red sky at night did nothing for my fast dwindling sense of safety. Personally, I think there is no overreacting in situations like this - better to get out and be safe than the alternative. Needless to say, a girl needed a bit of a distraction from reading the CFS warnings, stories of loss, and having two evacuations, desperately. 

So when I was reminded via a Facebook event notice that there was an Australia Day long weekend of fun at By Jingo Wines I literally did hop in the car, take a magnificent and relaxing one hour drive south through the winding roads and pulled up to the fabulous shed cellar door in the beautiful Adelaide Hills, in a scream of dust! The look on John Gilbert's face as my Honda screeched into his driveway was priceless. I hadn't seen him for about six years, so a visit was long overdue. He's my kinda wine guy - unique, down to earth, honest and fun!

John's mate, Luke, took charge of the vinyl (yes, vinyl!) on the day and the tunes were fabulous! After a fine platter we were all enjoying the tunes and doing our own Eagle Rock with a glass of By Jingo in hand. The lovely hostess with the mostest, Annick, served all day long with a genuine smile and her equally lovely offsider, Elizabeth, were simply fabulous company and new friendships were made and many laughs had. 

Pop over to the By Jingo website to see what they do, as it will be worthwhile. It's hard to put into words just how different the beat of their drum is to many other smaller wineries - from the amazing location just a few kilometres out of Mt. Barker on the Wistow/Strathalbyn road, to the chooks casually strolling around the lawn, to the amazing vegetable patch, to John and Annick's terrific personalities..... oh, and of course the incredibly different and delicious wines. These guys do things with style, no doubt about it, and that is why even when I am no longer involved with the wine industry, I will still class them as great friends. I admire them. Their passion and dedication to making unique wines is 10/10. Personally, my favourite is their Barossa Shiraz. Just astounding wine! I think it will always be one of my favourites. Check out the photos below and do keep an eye on their website or Twitter or Facebook pages to keep up to date with happenings. 

Cheers for now,  


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

2014 - The Best Thing.

Have no fear. There is always a way out.

"I put my spacesuit on
And count back ten to one
The gravitation pull gets stronger
My skin it pulls away
My brains are on a plate
The weightless feeling here is bliss..

This is the best thing that has ever happened to me
These are the colours that I've always wanted to see....."

The Best Thing that has ever happened to me was to NOT achieve my dream of having a successful retail business in the Barossa Valley. A few years ago, I thought I would forever live in the Barossa, in the same house that I had lived for twenty eight years and with the same partner that I married in 1989. In working myself almost to the point of an early grave, and in doing so, seeing much for what it really was and many for who they really were, and the sheer ugliness of it all, it became apparent that changes had to be made.

As I have stated before in earlier posts, when my amazing and much loved bookkeeper advised me to close shop and run, (and declare bankruptcy for my shop debt) I chose to put it out there that I needed a job in a mine to earn fast money to pay off my debts and take the weight off of my over-laden and oh so tired shoulders. Thirteen months later (and not forgetting that my new job in a mine began only a month after the doors of Collective Barossa closed for the final time), I was debt free and had found something in me that I never thought existed - Freedom of Spirit and Inner Faith. Many had left their scars on me when I left the Barossa. I thank them, again. Those scars have helped to make me what I am today, and though things are still tough for numerous reasons, the light is truly at the end of the tunnel. My new life, my new vision, my new passion has made me a better person. I am extremely grateful. Those who put the knives so deeply in my back are still treading the same paths as they were two years ago. I pity them, but I cannot help them. I can only help myself and those who are worthy of my help.

So, in stating all of the above, I am, in my usual style, announcing that my part in the running of Karra Yerta Wines is coming to a very swift end. I will have more to say on this in a future post. Perhaps not. Many know the stories behind much, and really, it probably doesn't matter. What matters is that my customers and friends (including many still in the wine industry) know that I won't be in this game for much longer. It's time to spread my wings and journey into yet more new adventures.

Hence, I am still trying to sell as much of our older stock (we have not made any wine since the 2010 vintage and trust me, our wines have only improved with age!) and clear as much remaining debt of Karra Yerta Wines as possible before completely moving on. If I can clear the debt of Collective Barossa, I can certainly clear the debt of Karra Yerta Wines and it is well within my reach. I have to go to the storage facility at Stockwell to get an accurate stocktake as there are many bits and pieces left, but primarily I have 2009 Eden Valley Riesling and 2008 Shiraz Cabernet for sale for $130 a dozen with free delivery in Australia. Both of these wines have won medals - the riesling a bronze at the Canberra International Riesling Challenge and the shiraz cabernet a silver medal at the Barossa Wine Show. The reviews are on this blog page if you want to find them. I have let the Karra Yerta Wines website lapse as I see no point in more outgoing costs so this blog and our Facebook and Twitter pages are the only places left to find information on us, other than various reviews etc on other wine review websites.

So for now, that's it. If you would like an order form, please email me at and though I am busy doing orders from Christmas/New Year, I will reply as soon as possible. Thanks to all who have been so positive and helpful over the past years/months. I know that you know who you are. Good things happen to good people and though sometimes it is hard to see it, out of every bad thing comes something good. Selah.

Cheers for now,

PS If you want to see a visual record of my personal growth and new passion, have a look at my photography page here. The entire world is my new home. I look forward to sharing more views of it with you in the coming years.