Chardonnay berries from Block 4, the Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon of Blocks 2 and 3 respectively, and the view from Block 1 looking east.
Sometimes it is hard to imagine that life could get better... until the cattle get out, the pump fails or rot sets into the grapes. But we eat well sleep well and the air is fresh and clean.
Two views of the Hitching Rail
Left: looking north west from under the great yellow box;
Below: looking east
The hitching rail, for which the cottage was named, is on the left of the picture near the french doors. The cottage has a rustic feel. Inside it is luxurious.
The Opera House
Quite grand in its way with sweeping views over to the eastern mountains and a beautiful natural bush garden.
Most of the surrounding area is bush and farming land. Our vineyard is about 200 metres away back towards the camera. This patch of bush is like a mini-Giraween, with lovely eucalypts and wildflowers.
Three faces of Beverley
left: a big apple eucalypt, by gum
below top: a stand of huge yellow box, a favourite with bees and visitors
below below: bouldery stringbark bush. Tiny wildflowers run riot in late spring
Kenneth Slessor wrote: After the wheyfaced anonymity of river gums and scribbly gums and bush... not here, by gosh. Because of its height above sea level, yet its proximity to the tropics, the area has a cool climate which supports a unique collection of flora.
Yellow box, stringybark and red gums predominate, but there are cypress pines, a couple of strange species of banksias found only here, as well as grand but rare trees like the Wallangarra White gum. The woodland is open and there are thousands of bouldery outcrops. We dips our lids to the first farmers who came here. They would have done it tough in this country.
Beverley is 70% cleared for grazing, although we have plans to convert most of this to vineyards. Importantly, 30% is wonderful, unspoilt bush and gardens. The climate lends itself to European deciduous trees and many were planted around the homestead around a century ago, creating a riot of autumn colours.
Perhaps: Gnarly gums in flowery spinneys, rabbit scrapes and daffodowndilleys.
Why are we here?
To mayka da wine, of course.
Top left: Bollocky shiraz bunches about three weeks from perfection.
Below centre: a telephoto shortened shot down Row 407 in the chardonnay block with, beyond, pasture then the bush.
Below right: A chardonnay bunch, almost translucent as harvest approaches.
Having a vineyard and making wine is every bit as pleasant as it sounds. It is also fearfully expensive and very hard work so it is not the sort of thing to undertake on a whim. Mind you, we did.