Cuttings - Jen Pfeiffer - February 2014
By Jen Pfeiffer
Happy New Year to you all!!! Although it feels like a long time has passed between now and the 1st of January 2014, I wish you and your family all the health and happiness you could wish for in 2014!
As I’m sure you’re aware, 2014 is a big year for Pfeiffer Wines – it is our 30th Anniversary. I know Pfeiffer Wines holds many special memories for you guys – whether it goes way back to the 1980s when you came into our newly opened cellar door and were warmly greeted by my mum behind the counter (with me most likely tugging at her skirt); perhaps you and your children have fed the turtles off the bridge; or maybe you survived the wild weekends of Winery Walkabout, or perhaps you’ve simply had a lovely relaxing picnic on our Sunday Creek Bridge.
Pfeiffer Wines holds many a special memory for me too – for me, it is my childhood home, the place where I grew up. Even though at the time, I was jealous of all the town kids who got to walk home and didn’t have to catch the bus, I now realise how lucky I was having all the land and vineyards to ride my bike around and explore. When I was really young, I used to say that when I grew up I wanted to be the best winemaker in the world, just like my dad! Who would have thought back then that I would actually be a winemaker today??!!!?
Mum tells a great story of us as a family coming to inspect the property before she and Dad purchased it. It was a fairly bleak day (at least that’s how I remember it) and we came to this tumbled down old building made mostly of tin. The tin roof was flapping in the breeze, there was no power and it seemed there were cobwebs everywhere…. a bit like a haunted house really. Apparently my sister Melissa asked, “Mummy, what are we doing in this place?” To which Mum replied, “Your father wants to buy it!!” And the rest is history so they say…..
While the early days saw Mum and Dad work really hard in establishing the business, I just remember having fun – kicking the footy with Dad on a Sunday afternoon, BBQ’s out the front of the winery with customers who got invited to have a sausage just because it was lunch time, and of course exploring the jewels of the cellar!! It didn’t take me long to work out where the Muscat casks were!!! While I knew where they were, the route wasn’t always easy (or safe) for me – the big 2300L round casks were huge in my eyes, and I had to jump over 4 of them to reach the Muscat cask, filled with the sweet, unctuous nectar that I rather fancied. It took all my courage (perhaps I needed the Muscat before I began the journey) but once on top of the Muscat cask, I could fit my skinny little arm through the bung hole and dip my arm in to the delicious Muscat and lick my arm dry! Naturally, the trip back over the 4 casks didn’t seem as daunting!!!
Mum and Dad liked to involve us from an early age in as many of the winery activities as possible. The very first fruit that was harvested from the Sunday Creek vineyard was our now 50 year old Pinot Noir vines being harvested early in the season for sparkling material. We had enlisted the help of Campbells Winery and were using their machine harvester to pick the fruit. So excited was Mum about our first crop coming off, that she woke us kiddies up and wrapped us in our dressing gowns and slippers to witness the fruit being harvested at 5am in the cool of the morning. Now I can tell you, it was COLD!!! I don’t remember much, other than standing in the vineyard watching a big machine run over the vines and shivering away. Finally Malcolm Campbell came up to us and said, “You’d have to be the coldest kids I think I’ve ever seen!!! What are you doing here??”
Well 30 years on, I know what I was doing there – I was getting a taste for it, I was getting wine in the blood! And I feel so lucky that I did.
Your February Wine Club pack includes some of the classics from the Pfeiffer range – with our Pfeiffer Riesling being one of our most popular and also most highly awarded wines from the range; the Pfeiffer Shiraz which is the wine I feel I have really made my own; and in the 12 bottle pack, the brand new preview release of our 2012 Pfeiffer Pinot Noir – from those 50 year old vines that were the very first vines harvested for
Pfeiffer Wines way back when!!!!
Thank you for sharing the journey with us over the years. I look forward to catching up with you throughout this very special anniversary year for us, whether at the winery or one of our offsite events, and reminiscing some more about the amazing experiences we have all enjoyed along the way.
Cheers, and happy drinking,