WITH heavy hearts a year ago Rod Windrim his family put their 59-hectare Krinklewood property at Wollombi Road, Broke, up for sale.
It was to write finis to 40 years in Hunter winemaking and 30 years creating a veritable fount of biodynamic winegrowing, Limousin cattle, olive trees, chickens, pigs, maremma sheepdogs, geese, peacocks and honey bees.
Established by Rod and Suzanne Windrim, it was also a cherished place for daughter and son-in-law Carla and Ross Curtin, daughter Danika and son Pete.
Rod, now 70 and still running his Sydney building company, was moved by Suzanne’s death three years ago to put the For Sale sign up.
He says he and his family were sad but united in their belief that it was time to pass on “our beautiful patch of earth” at Krinklewood to “someone who will take it to the next level.”
With its colonial homestead, tennis court, saltwater pool and cabana, provencal and vegetable gardens and orchard, Krinklewood has had numerous lookers, but no buyers and Rod, Pete and Carla are now getting ready for Hunter vintage 2019.
They will be working with consultant PJ Charteris in the state-of the-art 200-tonne-crush capacity winery built by Rod in 2017 and processing grapes grown under eco-friendly, biodynamic methods that shun pesticides, herbicides and chemicals.
Rod and Suzanne got into Hunter winemaking in 1979 when they bought land in Palmers Lane, Pokolbin, and planted a small vineyard they called Krinklewood. They sold it in 1989 and reassigned the name after buying the larger Wollombi Road property. At Broke they planted an initially conventional vineyard but in 2002 Rod began implementing biodynamic practices after being impressed by the writings of Rudolph Steiner. For more than a decade since, Rod and more recently Pete have been Australian biodynamic farming trail-blazers and respected educators.
A major key to Krinklewood’s biodynamic success is Preparation 500, a spray that Rod Windrim believes aids the vines’ photosynthesis and uptake of minerals and trace elements without chemicals or herbicides. Making Preparation 500 begins in autumn with digging a trench, getting scores of cow horns, filling them with farm animals’ manure and burying them in a soil and straw mixture. In spring the horns are dug up and the contents, by this time a sweet-smelling compost, is converted into Preparation 500 liquid. This is sprayed around vine roots twice during spring and twice during autumn at a “most powerful time” on days when the moon is in opposition to Saturn.
WILD MATCH FOR PASTA
THIS zingy 13.5%-alcohol Krinlewood 2017 Wild Red shiraz is among current releases available onkrinklewood.com.au and the Wollombi Rd, Broke, winery. It is garnet-hued and has scents of briar and violets and juicy plum front-palate flavour. The middle palate displays glacé cherry, capers, mint and toasty oak and the finish earthy tannins.
DRINK WITH: pasta.
AGEING: three years.
RATING: 4 stars (out of 6)
ALLURING WEB WHITE
THE Krinklewood 2017 Spider Run White is named after Windrim family floodlit night harvest trike races down vine rows laden with cobwebs. A semillon, chardonnay and verdelho blend, it’s green-tinted straw, passionfruit-scented and front-palate peach-flavoured. The middle palate has pear, lemon curd and cashew oak and the finish slatey acid.
DRINK WITH: quiche.
AGEING: six years.
RATING: 4.5 stars
EARLIER vintages of Krinklewood 2014 Lucia Dessert Wine included verdelho but this is 100% late-picked semillon. It’s brassy gold and has mixed peel aromas and lush, but not cloying, lychee front-palate flavour. The middle palate features cumquat, pear and pecan nut characters and the sweet finish has a touch of flint.
PRICE: $30 (375ml bottle).
DRINK WITH: crème brulee.
AGEING: four years.
RATING: 4.5 stars