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Iwo Jakimowicz - #006

Iwo Jakimowicz along with his wife Sarah Morris are the great people behind Si Vintners.  An amazing BD winery and vineyard in the deep South of Margaret River.  Iwo and Sarah also own several vineyards in Aragon, Spain which they travel too each year and make wine also.

Website - Si Vintners

Instagram @sivintners

 

Links

Rosa Glen
Polish Political refugees
Curtin University Viticulture
Fruity Lexia
Red Hill Estate
Calatayud
Ticino - Switzerland
Halcyon Vineyard
Mike Sleegers - McHenry Hohnen
Biodynamics Australia
Boof - Sophter Matrix
Dyson V7
Guinea Fowl Eggs
MycoForce
Fischer Tornado
Caffini Aqua-Knife
The River
Ned and Joel
Japan - Wine Diamonds
UK - Les Caves
Singapore - Artisan Cellars
Cryotherapy
Keto - Ketogenic Diet
Fusebox design
Hayfever
Torbreck
Ateca - Zaragoza
Breakfast Beers - Fruhschoppen
Nic Peterkin
Wallis Road
Extended maceration
Chinchecle 
Vasse Felix
D'Arenberg
Babayaga
Mike Bennie
Mercier train tour
Squid lips
Petillant 2atm
Gourmet Escape
Big Love

 

 

Dodgy Transcript

Iwo:
I remember Ned called me and said "So, what do you do?" and I told him the story. You know, we grow grapes organically and we don't do much. And he was like, "So you're a natural winemaker." I was like, "I don't know what natural wine making, but it sounds cool."

Ben:
Hello, and welcome to another episode of Real Wine People. Today's episode finds me in the deep south in Rosa Glen in Western Australia, Margaret River, where I see Iwo from Si Vintners, where we struggle to work out how to use an air conditioner and also battle hay fever and weevils in the vineyard. We don't have a sponsor for this show but being November, the team at Blind Corner is involved in Movember, which is a charity fundraising for prostate cancer research. The team here all are sporting pretty dirty mustaches at the moment. So if you'd like to donate or help out, I've got a shortcut which is mo.realwinepeople.com. I hope you enjoy this episode with Iwo.

Ben:
Hello.

Iwo:
Hello there. This is weird.

Ben:
Yeah.

Iwo:
I might only do one interview.

Ben:
Yeah do it. You'll get used to it. I mean if it's too loud I can turn it down, but we got to do the levels, so just get used to offing your position and move the mike. Yeah. You might want to move that up to your mouth, which is that thing that you put beer into.

Iwo:
Okay.

Ben:
Got it?

Iwo:
I need to leave room for the beer.

Ben:
Yeah. Cheers mate.

Iwo:
Cheers. Finally, mate.

Ben:
Yeah. I know. So first things. Happy birthday for yesterday.

Iwo:
Cheers mate.

Ben:
You're looking younger.

Iwo:
I feel younger.

Ben:
Yeah. Forty years old.

Iwo:
Four O.

Ben:
So I thought the best way to do it would be just take us through year by year. Like what happened-

Iwo:
From birth.

Ben:
From birth, yeah.

Iwo:
Okay sure.

Ben:
Yep. That's a good thing to do.

Iwo:
Seventh of November 1979.

Ben:
Really?

Iwo:
Communist Poland.

Ben:
Yeah. That's good. I want to hear all about that. Well, just to let people know, I'm at Si Vintners in Rosa Glen? Rosa Brook?

Iwo:
Rosa Glen.

Ben:
Rosa Glen, Margaret River with Iwo. I can never say your last name. You might want to-

Iwo:
Jackmomagic.

Ben:
Jackmomagic.

Iwo:
That's what my son Johnny has decided to change it to.

Ben:
That's fair enough. Jackmomagic. Si Vintners stands for Sarah and Iwo and I've tried quite hard to get Sarah to come down but.

Iwo:
Yeah, she almost agreed.

Ben:
Really?

Iwo:
Almost, but maybe we can do a different one with her.

Ben:
Yeah, I think so.

Iwo:
There'll be less swearing involved.

Ben:
Swearing's good. I get to tick the little explicit symbol when I upload them so we're fine. All right, so Poland mate. That's where you were born. When did you get to Australia?

Iwo:
Ah, we moved to Australia in 87, so my parents were, or and are were political refugees.

Ben:
Right.

Iwo:
We escaped communist Poland and came to Australia.

Ben:
In Lan in Perth? Or.

Iwo:
Yeah we actually, we ran away from Poland and lived in Austria for a year.

Ben:
Right.

Iwo:
I actually did year one in Austria. Yeah. Because my dad's a geologist, so back in the 80s that was a sought after profession here so.

Ben:
Still is I think.

Iwo:
Australia allowed us in.

Ben:
Yeah. Nice.

Iwo:
They didn't know what they were in for.

Ben:
So you didn't speak any English before you got here?

Iwo:
No.

Ben:
And what did you speak in Austria?

Iwo:
German.

Ben:
So you knew German or is it similar to Polish?

Iwo:
I spoke German grade one style. I learnt it when I got to Austria.

Ben:
Yeah.

Iwo:
I was in all the German as a second language classes. To be honest I can't remember much of it.

Ben:
Yeah.

Iwo:
And I don't remember how to speak German. I don't actually remember not speaking English.

Ben:
Oh, okay.

Iwo:
I feel like I arrived in Australia and I was freaking out going to school and then all of a sudden I don't know. It just happened.

Ben:
English magically appeared. So year two you started school in Perth.

Iwo:
Yep.

Ben:
And then high school in Perth as well?

Iwo:
High school in Perth.

Ben:
And did you go Uni after high school?

Iwo:
Went straight to Uni after high school.

Ben:
Really?

Iwo:
Yeah.

Ben:
In what, where?

Iwo:
Curtin Uni in Perth.

Ben:
Right.

Iwo:
The new course had just come out. Viticulture and oenology.

Ben:
So how did you know that you wanted to get in a vineyard straight out of high school?

Iwo:
I didn't.

Ben:
Okay.

Iwo:
I knew I wanted to live in Margaret River. And in the specs for the University it said you have to do work experience in places like Margaret River.

Ben:
That's awesome.

Iwo:
So I said I don't know what viticulture is but that sounds really cool.

Ben:
But I like culture.

Iwo:
So I signed up and the rest is history. Now I don't know how to do anything but.

Ben:
Yeah. So were you coming down when you were in high school?

Iwo:
Yeah, you know, we were surfing and stuff. Coming down on the weekends and it was always like a dream to live down here for surfing really. Not for anything.

Ben:
So how long was the course? Three years, four years?

Iwo:
It took me a good ten. I did a year. Because I was so young, and I did a year not knowing... like, I didn't know whether- I thought Fruity Alexia was a grape variety.

Ben:
Yeah right. It's not?

Iwo:
I didn't know if chardonnay was a red or a white. So it was a bit jumping in the deep end. So I did my first year and then we decided with some of the lecturers that it was a good idea that I go and get some experience.

Ben:
Cool.

Iwo:
So I did a bit of work.

Ben:
And you moved down here.

Iwo:
Here, and I actually ended up traveling. I did my first vintage over in Red Hill Estate in Victoria.

Ben:
Oh okay. Yeah I've never been there. Where is that?

Iwo:
Mornington.

Ben:
Oh. Of course. Yeah.

Iwo:
That was in 2000.

Ben:
Right.

Iwo:
Pretty much since then I've done two vintages a year. Till now.

Ben:
Have you added them up yet?

Iwo:
Must be forty.

Ben:
Well that's one a year. [crosstalk 00:06:15]

Iwo:
I've caught up. Actually, no, this year, this 2019 is the first time since 2000 that I haven't don't two in one year.

Ben:
Yeah, because you were sick. Too much jujitsu.

Iwo:
Too much jujitsu.

Ben:
So now you travel to... Well, I guess Sarah did this year, but you have three vineyards in Calatayud?

Iwo:
Well, we have a total of five hectares.

Ben:
Yep.

Iwo:
But it's not like in Australia. They're all spread out. So it's five hectares, but there's seven separate sites.

Ben:
Oh, really?

Iwo:
So they're all, you know. Some might be a half an hour drive to the other, but they're all scattered through the mountains. It's not like, oh, here's a fence, here's a vineyard. You just kind of driving along through the mountains and go, oh, wow here's a little cool looking half a hectare grenache.

Ben:
That's like yours?

Iwo:
Yeah. Us and our partners Rory and Renny [McGoldrick 00:07:07].

Ben:
Oh cool.

Iwo:
We bought, so. It all started because Sarah and I worked in Spain for a big wine making operation.

Ben:
That's where you met.

Iwo:
No, we met at Uni. We studied together. We weren't together when we first met, we were just mates. Sarah conned me into it much later.

Ben:
Really? She's not here to refute anything. That's a clever move.

Iwo:
She should have been here.

Ben:
So just to keep the timeline going, so you were at uni, there for a year, went and did vintage at Redhill in your... so a year after starting uni.

Iwo:
Yeah. Two years after.

Ben:
Two years after. Where from there?

Iwo:
And then I came back, did another year of uni. Then I worked around Margaret River a bit between vineyards and wineries. Obviously doing vintages. I did South Africa.

Ben:
Really?

Iwo:
Did... Where else? Spain obviously. I've done like 15 vintages in Spain or something.

Ben:
Jesus.

Iwo:
Switzerland. I worked in Switzerland and a little bit in Italy.

Ben:
Right.

Iwo:
Switzerland in Ticino, which is the Italian part.

Ben:
Yeah, nice.

Iwo:
So then the work I did in Italy, the guy I worked for in Switzerland was actually a consultant in Tuscany. So we'd go down every second week or whatever and do some stuff.

Ben:
Yeah, cool.

Iwo:
It was good fun.

Ben:
And then what year did you get this place?

Iwo:
We bought our house and vineyard in 2010.

Ben:
Yeah, okay.

Iwo:
So we'd had enough of Spain and then we started looking around, found this place. We actually found this place in 2008, but the price was ludicrous.

Ben:
Yeah, okay.

Iwo:
And we were so disappointed that we couldn't get it. We tried everything. And then a couple of years later we ran into the owners and they'd dropped the price to within reach.

Ben:
Oh really? So how many years were you in Spain?

Iwo:
From 2005 until present day. But we worked for the company we worked for, for them for eight years. So we did eight vintages for them. And then when we bought this place we'd given up on Spain, but then our friends Rory and Renny who visited us during the time we were in Spain and we had a great time.

Ben:
Where are they from?

Iwo:
Rory is an old school mate of mine.

Ben:
Right, cool.

Iwo:
So we thought it was a great idea, great investment because the land was cheap. Buy a couple of hectares, it will give us an excuse to go every year. Make a bit of money.

Ben:
Living the dream, mate.

Iwo:
Yes. Kind of an expensive hobby at the moment.

Ben:
Yeah, OK.

Iwo:
I mean it's great.

Ben:
With some of the vineyards, you got a hundred and fifty.

Iwo:
Yeah, the oldest vineyard we have is over a hundred and twenty years old. We not sure exactly of the planting date because they didn't have papers when everything was planted. So all the paperwork sort of came about in the sixties. But it was planted much earlier.

Ben:
Wow.

Iwo:
We actually are in one of the oldest, it's only half a hectare, it's one of the oldest plantings in the whole region. So we're pretty lucky to get it. It's only half a hectare. In some years we make one barrel out of it. This year we unfortunately got hail a week before harvest and it just totally destroyed just that one block.

Ben:
Yeah right.

Iwo:
So it's disappointing.

Ben:
And where do you make it there?

Iwo:
We've got our own little winery. We hired a... it's essentially shed in an industrial area. So it's tiny. It's like four times the size of this room we sitting in right now.

Ben:
Yeah right. Which is three by four and a half or something?

Iwo:
It's split into two. One side is sort of the barrel hole. We've got a total of ten barrels maybe.

Ben:
That's cool.

Iwo:
And then we've actually kitted out half the winery in an old antique store. We got like a 200 year old press and a hole bunch of amphora.

Ben:
Great.

Iwo:
Yeah. Obviously a bit of stainless.

Ben:
Yeah. Until you fly across, make it.

Iwo:
Yeah, so Robert and Fernando, they're two brothers. There's Fernando watching over us there. They run the whole the operation for the year and we do all the wine making calls and come over for harvest. Pick some grapes.

Ben:
So when you go back for harvest, is that when you bottle?

Iwo:
We usually get the bottling ready. So Sarah's just done some blends and stuff. And now the boys are bottling. It's a very slow process. We don't have very fancy machinery.

Ben:
Yeah. And then you bring it back here.

Iwo:
We're about to. We were selling a lot of it in the UK and little bit in Japan. But now we want it here. And we done a bit. Like a couple of years ago we got a really bad frost, so we made no wine at all.

Ben:
I remember that, yeah.

Iwo:
And then it's taken the vines a little bit to get back. So this vintage from five hectares, we did eight tons.

Ben:
Jesus.

Iwo:
And their hundred year old vines. So you not expecting too much more. A good vintage would 15 ton maybe.But ten would have been nice.

Ben:
That will do.

Iwo:
That will do. Lucky number.

Ben:
So when you got this place, 2010, it was all conventionally farmed?

Iwo:
It was. But it was quite... Graham, who'd owned it, was looking at retirement for a couple of years. He was using some herbicides and stuff. It was hands off, so to speak.

Ben:
Yeah, sure.

Iwo:
It was minimal.

Ben:
Can make butter fault.

Iwo:
But yeah, the minute we walked through, one of the first things I did was just any chemicals that were on the farm I took them to the tip. And got rid of all the old drums. Cleaned out. Spent a couple of days scraping out the old sprayer and stuff. Like literally we were organic for the first six months, and then biodynamics took my interest and we've been mucking around with that ever since.

Ben:
So how did you get into BD, biodynamics?

Iwo:
Well, we were just super interested in organics. And obviously when you reading, researching, because we jumped in the deep end here you know. We went from being sort of corporate wine makers to owning our own vineyards. Even though I'd worked in plenty of vineyards before, I'd never actually run one from start to finish for a full 12 months. And as you know yourself it's quite a learning curve.

Ben:
Yeah, yeah, it certainly is.

Iwo:
So you know I had every single freaking book under the sun about organics and stuff and then biodynamics kept popping up and I kept reading it going "Oh god, this is not making sense."

Ben:
Yeah it doesn't. Does it?

Iwo:
But we started trialing it and a good friend, Mike Sleegers, who's the guru of biodynamics in western Australia, we're lucky enough to have him giving us so much advice.

Ben:
That's great. Because he just works round the corner.

Iwo:
He works at McHenry [Honen 00:14:01] just down the road. And to be honest, without Mike we wouldn't have gotten so far into it because he was the one that pushed us and showed us how easy it actually is.

Ben:
Yeah okay.

Iwo:
It didn't take long to see the results.

Ben:
Sure. And with the results, are you putting on 500, 501?

Iwo:
Yeah. We do 500, 501 compost. We make our own 500 and 501, and then we buy compost preps from...

Ben:
From BD Australia.

Iwo:
Yeah, it just gets a bit too gnarly to make all the...

Ben:
Yeah, no, for sure.

Iwo:
But yeah, it seems to be... Like, we do as many as we can in a growing season, 500 and 501.

Ben:
Yeah, cool.

Iwo:
We've done two already this year. The big stir together.

Ben:
The big stirring.

Iwo:
Yeah, lost my pants.

Ben:
So does Mike comes across and you do it together here?

Iwo:
The making of the 500?

Ben:
Yeah.

Iwo:
Yeah, yeah, we did. Actually Mike organized it all and we did it a couple of years at McHenry [Hohnen 00:14:57] and the last two years we've done it on our property here.

Ben:
Oh great. And he takes some back?

Iwo:
Yeah. So we just share it for what we need.

Ben:
Nice. Well, I'll join in next year.

Iwo:
Definitely. Well, it's.. Yeah, we'll have to.

Ben:
Because we're buying our 500, 501 in and compost preps as well.

Iwo:
Yeah. Well, I mean it's... and it's kind of a cool thing. Apart from man handling a bunch of poo.

Ben:
But the barbecue afterwards is great.

Iwo:
Yeah, your hands stink for a few days.

Ben:
You have to wear gloves when you drink your beer.

Iwo:
I've started putting the double rubber glove on now.

Ben:
Nice.

Iwo:
The first time we ever did it I was "Ah, I'm hardcore. I won't use gloves." And then, yeah, you stink for a long time.

Ben:
Yeah, right. So you've noticed a big difference?

Iwo:
Huge. The soil life, it changes. You don't notice it instantly, but after a year or two you start going "Well, you know." Because we started doing it on a couple of blocks, and then, you know, like I said, Mike was like "Just do it everywhere." So we started with our cabernet block that you can see out the window here. And we're like "Why the hell is this fruit so much better every year than the other block?" And then, that's it.

Ben:
Is looking healthy this year.

Iwo:
Yeah. Touch wood. It's still early.

Ben:
So biggest challenges I guess you have is the same as we do. It's just the grass, under vine grasses and weevils.

Iwo:
Weevils is definitely our worst.

Ben:
What's your plan this year? You got the magic bullet yet?

Iwo:
I've been crossing my fingers and feet.

Ben:
Yeah, cool. I've been doing a bit of that.

Iwo:
We did, we used a bit of the Boof's...

Ben:
Softener and matrix.

Iwo:
Softener and matrix combo, which usually we do the [night's 00:16:40] row, but this year we've tried the butt scratching and stuff.

Ben:
Sure.

Iwo:
We haven't got to... There's the front row, which is always the worst damage. There's probably four or five vines which have got defoliated.

Ben:
Yeah.

Iwo:
But other than that there hasn't... you know, again touch wood, hasn't been [crosstalk 00:16:59]

Ben:
I think they're emerging later this year. I think that cool start.

Iwo:
Yeah.

Ben:
But we, I don't know. As you know, we talk all the time, but we tried so many different things and somehow one of them or a combination or something worked a few years ago. It didn't wipe them all out. But we got, from what I can tell, rid of 80, 90 percent.

Iwo:
Well, we did that same thing last year. We had absolutely zero damage last year. And the year prior to that, we had, we lost huge, probably 20 percent of this block was annihilated by weevils.

Ben:
Right.

Iwo:
To the point that last year we didn't have proper canes to wrap and stuff.

Ben:
Yeah, okay.

Iwo:
So we threw everything at it last year, so I'm not sure which was the magic bullet.

Ben:
Yeah.

Iwo:
We did a lot of plowing, which is something we haven't done in the past. But I think it's the guys live in the ground, so we have to mess up their little ecosystem somehow.

Ben:
See, we notice now when they're coming back in, they're coming in from the edges, like you say. You've got the outside and they're coming in from somewhere else back in to eat.

Iwo:
Which is where it wasn't cultivated as well. Right.

Ben:
And we have them eating weeds this year they haven't eaten before. I think because we reseeded the entire property with things they don't like eating. They're known to not like clover and a few others.

Iwo:
Yeah.

Ben:
And they've been getting into this... I don't know the name of the weed, but it's like this succulent, stripy, almost looks like dock.

Iwo:
Right.

Ben:
But anyway, they come in from the edges and they hit some of the outside.

Iwo:
Oh, [plantae 00:18:26]

Ben:
Is that what it is?

Iwo:
Does it grow in a little seed?

Ben:
Yeah.

Iwo:
Yeah, that's plantae.

Ben:
Have you had weevils eat that at yours, yeah?

Iwo:
They like it, yeah.

Ben:
They've never eaten it at ours.

Iwo:
If you rip it out, they'll live underneath it.

Ben:
Right, okay.

Iwo:
They don't actually eat the leaves of it, but they hang out there.

Ben:
No, they've been nailing it.

Iwo:
Oh, they have been?

Ben:
Yeah, that's what I'm saying, I haven't seen it before. And I think it's because we got rid of whatever they liked eating by over seeding.

Iwo:
Right.

Ben:
But now we've been having to attack... I think you know this. We bought two Dyson hand held vacuum cleaners.

Iwo:
Yeah, that was a...

Ben:
So we still do it, like in the hot spots, because they're coming in from the outside. We just, like during the day, peel back the bark.

Iwo:
Then suck them all up.

Ben:
Just suck them all up. You got to do something.

Iwo:
One big thing that we had was guinea fowl.

Ben:
Yep.

Iwo:
They do a great job.

Ben:
If they hang around.

Iwo:
If they hand around. But we've got a good little team. We had up to 40 at one stage. And then we had a clever fox move in and lost about 20.

Ben:
Right.

Iwo:
But there's sort of... unfortunately they're not very good at breeding, guinea fowl.

Ben:
Right.

Iwo:
They'll sit on their eggs and then as soon as the young hatch they run away. And you never know where they lay their eggs, so that's the problem. So if we ever... like last year we had some eggs, we put them under a chook and...

Ben:
Sure. And they hatched?

Iwo:
Yeah. And I haven't found any eggs this year.

Ben:
Right. You found the eggs and we had none.

Iwo:
There's definitely eggs around, because the crows have found them. I see the shells. You know, they have the distinct shaped egg.

Ben:
Yep.

Iwo:
But they did. And that's the thing in comparison to our chooks. Chooks will just hang around the pen.

Ben:
Yeah.

Iwo:
Whereas guinea fowl will just grid the whole property.

Ben:
Sure.

Iwo:
So they'll go into the hot spot. You know, you'll see them at the end there. And they really like weevils.

Ben:
Yeah, because they're tasty protein. Geese, aside. Just geese are assholes.

Iwo:
Geese just look good. They don't eat weevils. They actually, they don't eat... Well, as far as I know, they only chew the grass.

Ben:
Right.

Iwo:
They're vegetarians.

Ben:
Right. Oh, okay. I went to...

Iwo:
They make good guard dogs.

Ben:
To keep the foxes away from...

Iwo:
The fox won't get the grown up geese, but it will get the goslings.

Ben:
Yeah.

Iwo:
And also when the mother's sitting on the eggs, like because the mum won't move for anything, so the fox will get them then, but. Our population of geese hasn't really changed for years.

Ben:
Okay.

Iwo:
You know, like they came with the property.

Ben:
Yeah.

Iwo:
And they are pretty. My wife loves them. They make a lot of noise.

Ben:
Yeah. Yeah, I don't know, they don't like me.

Iwo:
They look scary, but they're actually pretty harmless.

Ben:
Yeah. Well, they can stay other there. Did you not try that [Mako 00:21:04] Force stuff that we...

Iwo:
I did, but I tried it in a new planting that was not successful.

Ben:
Right.

Iwo:
Yeah.

Ben:
Didn't stop them at all.

Iwo:
No, but last year we got... I tried it last year when we had no weevils. So it potentially worked, but I couldn't tell you. Because we try the Mako Force. We tried, we had matrix and softer.

Ben:
Yep.

Iwo:
And a whole shitload of plowing.

Ben:
Yep. And then the Tornado this year, I reckon.

Iwo:
Tornado is great. I think that's, you know, we've gone halves in it.

Ben:
Oh, yeah.

Iwo:
I think that's the greatest piece of equipment we've bought so far.

Ben:
Right, yeah, I think so too.

Iwo:
It's doing the job.

Ben:
So this is a... so it's by a company called Fisher, which we bought a finger weighter from. It fits to the front of the tractor. The finger weighter was used originally in strawberry fields to...

Iwo:
I think a lot of the other companies are using them in vineyards.

Ben:
Right.

Iwo:
It's quite common, but.

Ben:
And then we've both found this new bit of kit called the Tornado, which is like a horizontal whipper snipper. So instead of like your normal whipper snipper, I don't know how to explain this. You sort of flip it on its side and stretch it into a tube.

Iwo:
Yeah, like a big drum with a whole lot of whipper snipper cord hanging. It looks like it would do some damage, but it's the greatest thing. Because it leaves the vineyard on the vine looking as if it's been whipper snipped by hand.

Ben:
Yeah, exactly.

Iwo:
It's not even better, because it gets all right down to the base of the trunks without damaging them.

Ben:
Yeah, we got... So we went halves in...

Iwo:
I'll get another beer.

Ben:
Oh yeah, do it mate.

Iwo:
You tell them a bit.

Ben:
All right. I'll just have a sip of mine. You can hear all the bottling happening in the background too.

Iwo:
Do you need one?

Ben:
No, I'm good.

Iwo:
What's happening in the background?

Ben:
You can hear the... It's good. The action stations at the winery. Yeah, so we bought that Caffini Aquaknife, which is like it uses cold water. Thanks, mate. Cold water on the vine to... you know, jets down high pressure, a thousand psi. One thousand psi water that spins and goes on the vine. Mounts the front of the tractor as well. If we go through the Tornado or whipper snip and then go through with that, it's just magic. And we were hoping it was going to go down and disturb the weevil larvae or the eggs, etc. But we just break it all the time.

Iwo:
Yeah. So it works well but you spend more time fixing it.

Ben:
Yeah. Well, it's broken again right now. And of course our tractor's broken as well, so.

Iwo:
I saw your tractor today at the shop. I was in there.

Ben:
Nice. Is it ready?

Iwo:
I don't know. The things were pointing downward, so I don't...

Ben:
Right. Okay, I'll ask Monday. Yeah, so the Tornado, it's great. I guess between us those two machines are the first ones in Australia.

Iwo:
Yeah, yeah.

Ben:
Think because of the boom of organic viticulture. You know, there's a few other wineries. I think, when are we staring a contracting company or something?

Iwo:
Oh yeah, for sure. We don't spend enough time on tractors.

Ben:
No. We'll get out and do other people's vineyards.

Iwo:
Yeah.

Ben:
Which is good, because there's such a boom of organic viticulture happening.

Iwo:
Well, and the interest in Margaret River, I can speak for Margaret River because that's where we live, it's even all the big boys are starting to get excited about it, which is amazing.

Ben:
And the knowledge base isn't huge for organic viticulture. It's growing all the time.

Iwo:
Yeah.

Ben:
There's not many people that have done it for any period of time.

Iwo:
No.

Ben:
It's good, mate. Good, good.

Iwo:
Exciting stuff.

Ben:
So, vineyard, weevils, grasses. Got that sorted. I think I can see... is that a goose there?

Iwo:
Probably. Yeah, that's the goose.

Ben:
Yeah.

Iwo:
Chewing some little weeds for us.

Ben:
You're bottling some chardonnay today in the...

Iwo:
We're bottling chardonnay, yeah.

Ben:
Cool.

Iwo:
Chardonnay is the majority of what you do these days.

Ben:
Yep.

Iwo:
We're always bottling chardonnay.

Ben:
Nice, nice. Yeah, so you run this vineyard and is it one or two others?

Iwo:
Two others. So this is... Originally, when we first took this over, there was eight hectares of vineyard here. And we've ripped out close to two.

Ben:
Right.

Iwo:
Just stuff that wasn't quite in the right spots. You know, like some really heavy clays that were just getting really wet in winter and vines weren't performing. And we're now, well this year we've actually just done our first. I'll show you afterwards.

Ben:
Yeah, so you've planted more?

Iwo:
We've planted a little... Oh, no. I showed it to you the other day, didn't I? Well, it's like a quarter of a hectare. But anything we're replanting, we're doing it close plants. So, you know, not quite like burgundy, but one point six meters between rows and 800 between vines.

Ben:
Wow.

Iwo:
So pretty tight. You know, we just put in a thousand vines in whatever... it's not even a quarter of it. It's tiny. It's a tiny little area. But it's our trial to make sure. I want to run that for a year just to get my head around it and know that I can do it.

Ben:
And then just keep planting out like that?

Iwo:
I think so. So eventually we'll do this block that you can see, which is our old vines. We'll probably plant vines down the middle.

Ben:
Sure.

Iwo:
Because they're about three point six, roughly. I think the people in the 70s were a bit drunk when they planted, because some are three point six and some are three point eight.

Ben:
How old's the vineyard?

Iwo:
It was planted in 78.

Ben:
Yeah right. That's pretty old thereabouts.

Iwo:
Yeah, for down in this neck of the woods it's one of the oldest ones.

Ben:
Yeah. Yeah, cool. So plant down the middle there. So what would be the... I know you're increasing the vine density, but what would be the total hectares under?

Iwo:
So, you know, the final goal, which is like a 10 year plan I guess.

Ben:
Let's not rush it.

Iwo:
Yeah, let's not rush it. I've learnt not to rush things in this game. So eventually we'll probably have like three to four hectares of close planted stuff on this property.

Ben:
Yep.

Iwo:
And then, you know, the other two places are another 10 hectares, but they're not going to be densely planted.

Ben:
Sure. That's pretty cool. And then make it all here, sell it around the world.

Iwo:
Well, yeah.

Ben:
You're doing all the sales yourself in Perth?

Iwo:
Yeah, as of about a year or so ago.

Ben:
Yeah. Loving it?

Iwo:
It's good. It's nice to talk to everyone and meet all the crew. Perth's such a buzzy market at the moment.

Ben:
Yeah.

Iwo:
You know, when we first started trying to sell wine, you know when we first met-

Ben:
Oh yeah.

Iwo:
-I was like, I couldn't sell a bottle in Perth. People were going "Oh, this is cloudy."

Ben:
Yeah, it was really, really hard.

Iwo:
It was hard. But now it's the opposite. It's actually become our biggest market in Australia, which is great. You know, local market.

Ben:
Yeah, same with us. Yeah, I think I've said before, when I started I'd go to Perth for two weeks and come back, had not sold a bottle.

Iwo:
Yeah.

Ben:
I think when I first met you, it was Joe Perry, who's a mutual friend. And then, it's The River now, but the old Margaret... anyway, there's a pub in Margaret River. Oh, there's a friend of mine. You know, we sort of said hello and I remember we were both very cagey. I think because what we were doing separately wasn't really being accepted within the industry. It's like "What do you do?" "Oh, you know, just vineyards and stuff, mate. Make some wine." "Oh, yeah?"

Iwo:
Didn't really want to say that we're organic. Bloody hippies.

Ben:
"I don't really do much in the vineyard." "Oh, right, cool, cool. Me too. What about the winery? Oh, you know, just normal stuff mate, but we doing anything."

Iwo:
Really?

Ben:
"You want another beer?" "Yeah, I'll have another beer."

Iwo:
I haven't sold a single bottle for two months.

Ben:
Hey, can you be my best friend?

Iwo:
Well, then you hooked us up with Ned and Joel over in Sydney.

Ben:
Oh, of course.

Iwo:
And that's where it all began really.

Ben:
Yeah, true. Yeah, I didn't think of that.

Iwo:
Because yeah, I remember Ned called me and said "So, what are you doing?" And I told him the story. You know, we grow grapes organically and we don't do much. And he was like "So, you're a natural wine maker?" I was like "I don't know what natural wine making is, but sounds cool."

Ben:
If it means you're going to buy my wine.

Iwo:
And then I was like "You know, these wines are... Have you ever heard of skin contact in white wine?" He was like "Yes." And he was like... you know, they flew over and tasted some wines. Met us, and then...

Ben:
Yep.

Iwo:
I remember they were like "So how much of this have you got?" I sort of went "Well, this much, but you can have half." And then after the meeting I was like "Oh my god, they took. Should of just told them they could have it all." Could have taken the rest of the year off.

Ben:
That's great. And now you sell your wines all around the world?

Iwo:
Yeah. Less now, because we sort of changed our tune a bit. We were making more... like, we were actually still buying grapes until two years ago, and now we only make wine from stuff that we farm ourselves.

Ben:
Cool.

Iwo:
So you know, we're making a lot less. So hence there's less export. But yeah, we sell to Japan, it's pretty big market. UK, right.

Ben:
So Le Carve in the UK?

Iwo:
Le Carve, Wine Diamonds.

Ben:
Singapore too?

Iwo:
Singapore artisan sellers.

Ben:
Yeah.

Iwo:
And where else? We did a little bit in Hong Kong.

Ben:
Yeah, cool.

Iwo:
Yeah. Same story as you for America.

Ben:
Yeah, it was going real well there.

Iwo:
It was going real well, and then it just disa-

Ben:
It went real not well. But you know, we did cryotherapy in New York.

Iwo:
It was a good trip. You taught me about akido.

Ben:
Yeah, you still akido now.

Iwo:
Well, no, these aren't actually kido.

Ben:
So funny. I remember talking on the phone. "How's akido going?" "Yeah, mate, I'm deep in kido." Then all I could hear was- Was that a beer? Yeah, not kido now.

Iwo:
Yeah. Kido in the morning.

Ben:
Kido in the morning.

Iwo:
Yeah, yeah.

Ben:
So you met... okay, rewinding a bit. So obviously you see Sarah and Iwo, and then a play on the Spanish word for yes? Is that, or was just a...

Iwo:
Well, we actually initially didn't not know how to do... what to call the place.

Ben:
Yeah.

Iwo:
And we just registered S and I Wine Company as our thing. You know, I got the ADN and whatever. And then everyone started calling it Si.

Ben:
Right.

Iwo:
I guess it was because we were working in Spain, but it was more for Sarah and Iwo's wine company.

Ben:
Yeah.

Iwo:
Because we're so good at coming up with names.

Ben:
No. Your names are great on all your wines.

Iwo:
Yeah, they're kind of good. A few of them, we weren't sure, and then really.

Ben:
Because I always thought it was just Si for Sarah and Iwo, but the S is the capital because Sarah is the boss.

Iwo:
That was the graphic designer who made it look good. Peter. Peter Rowan who's Fuse Box Design.

Ben:
Yep.

Iwo:
He's a very clever guy.

Ben:
Yeah.

Iwo:
I say it stands for Sir Iwo.

Ben:
Right, okay.

Iwo:
Or super Iwo.

Ben:
Or Sarah incorporated.

Iwo:
She'd love it.

Ben:
Yeah. Okay, so you guys met at uni, and then you went your separate ways.

Iwo:
Went our separate ways. Sarah, she's done vintages all over the world, but in different places.

Ben:
Sure.

Iwo:
She spent, did a big stint in south Australia working.

Ben:
Oh, of course, with Torbreck.

Iwo:
Yeah, she was at Torbreck for... I never remember how many years, but a fair few. Then she did vintages overseas. She did Portugal and France.

Ben:
Great.

Iwo:
And then, yeah, we sort, you know. We'd been in touch, and then Sarah got this job opportunity in Spain, and I'd been to Spain partying and surfing.

Ben:
Right, nice.

Iwo:
And the last time I saw her, I said "Oh jeez, I really want to go live in Spain. It's great." And then this job came up, and she said "Hey, Iwo, like this is weird, but this guy just rang me and there's a job working super old vines. Starting a new project. We're going to do a hundred tons and we can basically do whatever you want. Do you want to do this job?" And I was like shit yeah.

Ben:
Yeah, no.

Iwo:
That sounds epic. So we went to Spain and yeah.

Ben:
So Sarah was your boss in Spain?

Iwo:
Well, we kind of worked together.

Ben:
Worked together. And was it a hundred tons the first year?

Iwo:
First year was a 120 tons, and then the last job I ever did for them was a million liter blend of one wine.

Ben:
Oh, wow.

Iwo:
Yes. And that was within eight years.

Ben:
Wow. And that's the growth that you're expecting here today.

Iwo:
It was just massive, yeah. Hey, how are you, mate?

Ben:
So, it was jostling.

Speaker 3:
Good, and you?

Ben:
Yeah, good.

Speaker 3:
What's going on here?

Ben:
Just doing a podcast, man. This is like the sound studio.

Speaker 3:
Oh man. Are you guys broadcasting to the world right now.

Ben:
No.

Iwo:
Yeah, you're live right now.

Ben:
Yeah, you're live.

Iwo:
14 million people.

Speaker 3:
Yes. Cool.

Ben:
What's going on?

Speaker 3:
Am I interrupting then? Just came to say hello.

Ben:
Are you hanging around?

Speaker 3:
I might hang around for lunch, if you're going to be here for a bit.

Ben:
Yeah.

Iwo:
Cool. We just started, so it will be an hour or so.

Ben:
Something like that. Depends if we run out of words. How many words you got left?

Iwo:
I don't have that many.

Speaker 3:
I might come back for [inaudible 00:33:27] then.

Ben:
Yeah, cool.

Speaker 3:
See ya.

Ben:
See ya, Justin. Is that air condition working?

Iwo:
It's [crosstalk 00:33:37].

Ben:
It's hot in here. What is it, a sauna, or is this part of your opposite cryotherapy thing.

Iwo:
I'm thinking I'm not very good at technology, in case you didn't notice, but. I'm starting to sweat.

Ben:
I'm sweating badly.

Iwo:
The beers are going down faster. This is my façade to get you super drunk.

Ben:
Let's get the fan up high.

Iwo:
Is there like a cold and hot button?

Ben:
No, there's not. But it's got a sun there, which makes me think it's heating it. Your face is pretty red.

Iwo:
I'm dirty. Here we go.

Ben:
That's better. I can feel it already.

Iwo:
I can hear it.

Ben:
See my pits? My pits are sweating.

Iwo:
You know, these one and a half beers just evaporate.

Ben:
Oh yeah. How's your hay fever been this year?

Iwo:
It's been the worse hay fever season I've ever experienced in my life.

Ben:
Yeah, me too. Dying. Yeah.

Iwo:
And I've tried taking all the little tablets and stuff. Nothing works.

Ben:
Have you any Mary flaring up?

Iwo:
It's a weed flaring. There's been like mainly the poppies.

Ben:
Yep.

Iwo:
And there's been like the odd Mary, just like one out of the blue where flare.

Ben:
Yeah, we got the same. Oh, that's nice and cool now. I'm sweating pretty hard in here.

Iwo:
Just broadcasting from a sauna.

Ben:
Yeah, okay. Where were we? So Sarah, you're making a million liters of wine.

Iwo:
Million liters, yeah. That was the last job we did.

Ben:
So when you started working together you weren't together.

Iwo:
No.

Ben:
And then by the time you finished working together you were together?

Iwo:
Yes.

Ben:
Right. So what happened in between? Did you pull some sweet moves?

Iwo:
Small village, you know. She didn't have any other options.

Ben:
You get a single's night, it was just the two of you and some toothless guy.

Iwo:
Well, there was a heap of other people, but they were all about 85. The little village we live in Spain is just like literally average age about 70.

Ben:
Oh, god. What's it called?

Iwo:
Ateca.

Ben:
Ateca. And how do you get there?

Iwo:
Fly to Madrid, and then we usually hire a car. So it's northeast of Madrid, about 200 kilometers.

Ben:
Oh, right.

Iwo:
It's on the high, if anyone's ever done the drive from Madrid to Barcelona.

Ben:
Yep. Does that go through Saragossa?

Iwo:
Yeah, it goes through. So we're the Madrid side of Saragossa.

Ben:
Oh, cool.

Iwo:
We're a hundred kilometers away from Sar- That's our closest big town.

Ben:
Right.

Iwo:
Well, Calatayud is actually the closest big town, but that's only 30,000.

Ben:
Okay.

Iwo:
Saragossa is proper big one.

Ben:
Yeah, cool.

Iwo:
So yeah, we did that. So we were living over there six, seven months of the year. Coming back here during the vintage.

Ben:
Sure.

Iwo:
And it's all just red wine. So you know, we'd go there, go hard for vintage. And then a lot of the wine for America had to be ready, so we'd be harvesting in October, November.

Ben:
Yeah.

Iwo:
And then it had to be in bottle by sort of March, so.

Ben:
Ah, ready for the summer.

Iwo:
Wasn't even stressful.

Ben:
Right. And then you come back here. Well how would you do that? Do a vintage here quickly for how long? Two or three, two-

Iwo:
No, no. Because vintage time here was quite mellow. Like, December there. Everything was ticking away through Malo. So we obviously had people there, a lab and stuff that could check malos. And then we'd go... So we'd come here sort of for... we'd usually get home for Christmas.

Ben:
Sure.

Iwo:
And stay here for about a month.

Ben:
Yep.

Iwo:
And then go back there for about six weeks to do all the blends.

Ben:
Yep.

Iwo:
And when all the blends are ready, we'd have it all ready for bottling. And then we'd come home and hang out here for vintage. And when vintage was done here, we'd go back there. So they had a crew that would bottle and stuff. We didn't have to. You know, we got it ready to the point of bottling.

Ben:
And then you both come. So after the first year, were you together? Did you come back together to WY, or?

Iwo:
No, Sarah was still working in South Wales.

Ben:
In Torbreck.

Iwo:
I was here just... It was actually great. Because I'd do kind of a year's work in six months. So I would come back to Marg's and just hang out and drink loads of beer and surf my brains out.

Ben:
Yeah, right. How's the surfing going?

Iwo:
It's not.

Ben:
What do you blame? Vineyard or kids?

Iwo:
I don't know.

Ben:
Beer?

Iwo:
Beer. Because there's that reason why I can't get up early.

Ben:
I know.

Iwo:
It's kind of like, I always feel guilty. I always go like, oh, I should be spraying or plowing or slashing. Oh god, and then the kids. But you know, Sarah always says "There's no reason why you can't go."

Ben:
Yeah, yeah, that's it.

Iwo:
But yeah. It's my New Year's Resolution.

Ben:
For this year, or?

Iwo:
For this year.

Ben:
For your 2020?

Iwo:
Coming up.

Ben:
Oh, coming up. Oh, it's our resolution. Yeah, okay. No, that sounds fair enough.

Iwo:
It's a shame we live so far apart.

Ben:
Yeah. What's the halfway point? Christ Town.

Iwo:
Too many sharks down there.

Ben:
True. What if we just go to the pub?

Iwo:
Yeah.

Ben:
Meet you at a brewery somewhere. Watch a video. Just record another podcast. So Sarah now... so three kids.

Iwo:
Two dogs.

Ben:
Two dogs.

Iwo:
Cat.

Ben:
Cat. How many geese?

Iwo:
Sarah would have to tell you. We just had a good bunch of goslings come out. So there's about 30-ish.

Ben:
30 of them.

Iwo:
I don't know. It's over 30 or under 30.

Ben:
How many chickens?

Iwo:
Don't know. Lost count.

Ben:
How many weevils?

Iwo:
None.

Ben:
Oh, well done, mate, well done. So Sarah's getting back into the winery not that they're sort of getting out.

Iwo:
I'm mean we've always done everything together.

Ben:
Yeah.

Iwo:
Like, it's always both decisions. But poor Sarah's been a bit hammered with kids for the last few years.

Ben:
Yeah, yeah.

Iwo:
So you know, and she also does all our paperwork and stuff. I'm computer illiterate.

Ben:
Stay that way.

Iwo:
She does a good job.

Ben:
Nice. Are you heading back across next year for vintage? Together, the family, or?

Iwo:
Yeah, well that's the plan. You know, last year we went, we took the whole family over. And obviously I've got pat family in Poland, so it's a good excuse to visit Poland.

Ben:
Yeah, cool.

Iwo:
So yeah, we... usually the scene is we fly to Poland, go and visit my family for a week or two, then fly to Spain.

Ben:
Yep.

Iwo:
Do vintage. You know, hang out.

Ben:
Yeah, cool.

Iwo:
Do that for however long and go home. It's a good experience for the kids. You know, it was hard a couple years ago, but now our youngest is four. So it's more enjoyable.

Ben:
It's ever, isn't it? Or is it? Because your kids call it Evie.

Iwo:
We call it Evie, ever. It's the Polish version of Eve.

Ben:
Right, yeah, cool. So youngest is four.

Iwo:
Four. Johnny's six and Lily is eight.

Ben:
Geeze. I think I might have to come across next year.

Iwo:
Yeah, bit of extra labor.

Ben:
I thought you told me we just eat buccaneers and drink San Miguel.

Iwo:
Soon as you finish picking.

Ben:
Right.

Iwo:
It is actually quite fun. You know, it's in the middle of the mountains, so it's like the tractor, it's a 45 minute plus tractor ride to get to the vineyard, and we pick everything into a little two ton trailer.

Ben:
Yep.

Iwo:
Maggie took that one under two tons. We drive the tractor to the vineyard. How ever many people are there. You know, if there's 10 people, it might take three hours. Depends on the crop. Depends on the vines. And then, here we didn't have a buck of beer and a few ices.

Ben:
Nice.

Iwo:
And you know, like Spain, so you can't put a piece of food in your mouth without drinking wine.

Ben:
Yeah.

Iwo:
I learnt the hard way. When we first bought the vineyards, I said "Don't worry, I've got lunch covered." And I brought the food up the mountains, and then pulled it out. They're like "Where's the wine?" It's like "Oh shit, I forgot the wine." They're like "Oh, we can't eat." And I thought they were joking, and everyone just stopped.

Ben:
And you had to go get wine.

Iwo:
No, no. They just went "That's it. We'll just keep working." Didn't have lunch. And I said "What am I going to do with all this food?" You know, I just brought food for 10 people. They're like "Save it for tomorrow. Can't eat without wine." So I've never made that mistake again.

Ben:
Yeah, I bet.

Iwo:
It's kind of funny, because you know it's hot. It's 35 degrees. And you're drinking four tenths alcohol grenache.

Ben:
That's great.

Iwo:
But it is great. We've gotten used to it.

Ben:
That's such a culture there, too. You know, there's no separation. I mean, obviously there is a separation, but food and wine, it's just the same thing.

Iwo:
It is.

Ben:
It's just something that you grow that you make something out of and you consume at the table.

Iwo:
Yep.

Ben:
It's just such a big... Like, I've noticed... I guess I never knew how big the separation is in Australia until I went and spent time.

Iwo:
Well, I just remember when we first started working in Spain. And it was like, you know, you'd go to the café, which is the bar, for a coffee in the morning. And then like you'd order a sandwich or something. It's 10 in the morning, you're hungry. And then the boss would go "Well, we'll have couple of beers then." And I'm like "Beers, now? Ten." But they just have one beer.

Ben:
Yeah.

Iwo:
And it's just because they're thirsty. It's not like us. We'll go "I've had one, I'm going to have 20."

Ben:
Yeah, yeah, that's it. That's it. What do you mean I can only have one?

Iwo:
Now I've had one...

Ben:
In Berlin, when I was there, people are running for the bus in the morning, the guys in suits, or walking to get their cab. And they've got the suitcase, suit on. It's like 8:30, nine in the morning. And they've got like a beer in their hand. And it's like, ah, that's a bit weird. And then, hang on, that guys doing it as well. It's just a breakfast beer.

Iwo:
That was the other one. Like at lunch time, so the boys that would work for us in the winery, this is when we're doing the big job, they'd like bring their packed lunch or whatever and a couple of beers.

Ben:
Yeah.

Iwo:
You bring your juice box here or your bottle of water, they've got a couple of stabbies.

Ben:
So you brought that culture into your winery here?

Iwo:
Oh, definitely brought that.

Ben:
Yeah, I notice a lot of vintage, instead the bungs, I think one of the first times I came here instead of having bungs in your barrels they're just upside down beer bottles.

Iwo:
Well, that works great. Because the bungs pop out.

Ben:
Yeah. The beer bottles don't. We're using... it's hard to find them, but the snooker bungs.

Iwo:
Oh, yeah.

Ben:
As well. Yeah, they sit on top.

Iwo:
Well, there tends to be a few beer bottles around.

Ben:
Yeah, right. Yeah, up cycling.

Iwo:
Yeah.

Ben:
Talk a bit about your wine making here. You know, what you do and how it's changed and evolved.

Iwo:
Well, the main thing, like, you know, and it sounds so cliché, but our wine making's the vineyard, really.

Ben:
Yeah.

Iwo:
You know, and especially now we've been running this vineyard for 10 years. The lease blocks we've been running for four years, and it's like as soon as we take over a lease block we've been straight into the biodynamics.

Ben:
Yep.

Iwo:
And that's just it. It's just the vineyard. The winery's so hands off. Like, I mean obviously we keep an eye on things in pressing and whatnot, you know. We bought a flash new press.

Ben:
I saw that.

Iwo:
Yeah.

Ben:
No juice tray, though.

Iwo:
No, we got it in the end. It rocked up without it. It was a bit of a... yeah, it wasn't much fun for the first few press loads.

Ben:
Yep.

Iwo:
Yeah, that's helped things. Especially, we decided to... you know, because it's such a big expense. But we, because we're making so much chardonnay, with the old basket press extractions are like three, 400 liters a ton max unless you press for 48 hours. And you don't really have that luxury middle of vintage.

Ben:
Exactly.

Iwo:
Yeah, we bought the big air bag press, and that's changed things a lot, I think. Definitely for our extractions.

Ben:
Yeah, for sure.

Iwo:
We're going 600 plus liters a ton.

Ben:
You're killing it.

Iwo:
Yeah, it's great.

Ben:
It's a big high pack press. Everything's... Do you de-stem?

Iwo:
No. Oh, we de-stem our reds selectively. And it totally depends on the year. We don't really go to a recipe.

Ben:
No.

Iwo:
You know, if it's a hot year and the stalks are nice and ripe, we're chuck in a portion of whole bunches. But definitely when we de-stem, we don't crush.

Ben:
Yeah, sure.

Iwo:
So you get a bit of that carbonic-y sort of.

Ben:
Yeah. We're the same. We do de-stem sometimes, otherwise we just jump. Well, everything we jump on, but.

Iwo:
Yeah. We went pretty hard on the whole bunch thing, trialing things, but I think it works. A lot of our red's cabernet. So you got to be careful with how... and especially where we are. You know, we're the southern end here.

Ben:
It can get stalky enough without having spots in it.

Iwo:
Exactly. So you know, I think having a good de-stemmer helps. That was the first thing we bought.

Ben:
Right, really.

Iwo:
Yeah.

Ben:
Nice.

Iwo:
It was actually our last paycheck from Spain. We bought a de-stemmer and the high pack press.

Ben:
Yeah, cool. It's a good press.

Iwo:
Yeah.

Ben:
And so you've got big format oak.

Iwo:
Yeah, so that's a big thing. We went... well, we did the eggs. But they're just so... they're not really value for money.

Ben:
But they doubled in price since we bought them.

Iwo:
Yeah.

Ben:
Haven't they?

Iwo:
So it's, you know, it's those 600 liters and it's like, god. So yeah, we've jumped with the... You know, like we use... we got a whole lot of punch ins for chardonnay. Then we've just recently acquired those big [foodrers 00:46:47], which are 2000 weighters.

Ben:
Yeah, they are. They're rippers.

Iwo:
They're great, yeah.

Ben:
Can I just tell you, this air conditioner is fucking macking out so good.

Iwo:
My sweat's gone.

Ben:
Feeling better already. But now you've run out of beer again.

Iwo:
Nearly.

Ben:
I'm almost out. So sorry, yeah the big [foodra 00:47:04] is 2000 liters.

Iwo:
Yeah. It works well for our wines. You know, like, I think if we had a beautiful underground cellar that was 16 degrees all year round, we probably wouldn't have to go to that size. But I think with our well insulated shed, it can get pretty warm in there in the summer, and having the large stuff, the temperature doesn't get that high.

Ben:
Sure.

Iwo:
Like the wine will still be at 80 degrees most of the year.

Ben:
Yep.

Iwo:
And you know, with a little barrel you definitely see a spike.

Ben:
Yes. Yeah, for sure.

Iwo:
So it's just a bit more stability.

Ben:
That's good. I think, so running through the range of base, because most stuff you're doing, a few exceptions but it's all single blocks.

Iwo:
Yeah, so the whole thing, when we stopped making the reds and whites a couple years ago-

Ben:
And the pinks.

Iwo:
The pinks, yeah. We decided to do... this is all single vintage, single varietal.

Ben:
Sure.

Iwo:
Apart from we make a Baba Yaga.

Ben:
Baba Yaga, yeah.

Iwo:
Which is a bit of fun. But yeah, everything else is... so we now do three chardonnays. So we have house and vineyard chardonnay.

Ben:
So that's your tippy top.

Iwo:
Yep. That's from the old vines here.

Ben:
Right.

Iwo:
And then we have Ida, which is from Wallace Road. I say it's eight kilometers, I don't know.

Ben:
It's that way.

Iwo:
It takes about half an hour to drive there in the tractor.

Ben:
Right.

Iwo:
And then the other one we call Next Door. It's just kind of... it's about a kilometer away.

Ben:
Sure.

Iwo:
And that's the one we just released. It's called Bella.

Ben:
Bella. Yeah, that's good. I like that. I had that.

Iwo:
Oh, you tried it?

Ben:
Well, when we're at the thing. What as it? [crosstalk 00:48:44]

Iwo:
Oh, yeah, yeah, right. Cool.

Ben:
The one Australia.

Iwo:
I'm pretty pleased with it.

Ben:
Yeah, it was great.

Iwo:
It took a while to get there. It's been in stainless for about six months.

Ben:
Right.

Iwo:
We had in barrel for 12 months, then we put it and it just took ages to settle out. We don't like filtering anything, so we just let it naturally settle.

Ben:
Sure.

Iwo:
It took all of that six months. But I think it came together well. We're pretty pleased with it. So yeah, and the whole idea is that, you know, southern end of Margaret River, like chardonnay is kind of the shining star down here.

Ben:
Yep.

Iwo:
And each vineyard that we have has majority chardonnay, apart from here, but we're sort of working on changing that. And yeah, so each vineyard has quite different aspects, different soil types. So just working on that whole terroir thing.

Ben:
Yeah.

Iwo:
You know, we could easily plan them all together, you know. We make maybe a hundred dozen in a good year as a house, and 300 dozen of each of the other ones. We could quite easily blend them all together and make a...

Ben:
But where's the fun in that?

Iwo:
Yeah, exactly.

Ben:
So Wallace Road's going... so we're in Davis now. It's going west?

Iwo:
Yeah, it's going west, and it's kind of like halfway between here and town.

Ben:
Ear mugs, cheap.

Iwo:
No, town, mugs.

Ben:
Yeah, mugs.

Iwo:
It's actually-

Ben:
That's the chief village.

Iwo:
Yeah, village.

Ben:
Village.

Iwo:
Yeah.

Ben:
Cool. And then...

Iwo:
So that's a real gravely site.

Ben:
Yeah.

Iwo:
Like your proper Margaret River gravels. Big iron stone bundies right to the surface.

Ben:
Nice.

Iwo:
Here is very heavy clay. You could hit the clay with a shovel in like a couple of shovel loads.

Ben:
Right.

Iwo:
So probably a foot to a meter in some sites.

Ben:
Yeah.

Iwo:
So it's like really dense and acidity is very tight on this lot. And then the other one is Bellows. A lot sandier, so it's got a lot more actual soil.

Ben:
Yeah, I just went for a drive like here. I was just taking back roads here, and I was surprised because a lot of people don't have fire brakes now. Like just sand.

Iwo:
But it's so variable. Like, you know, here is heavy clay and gravel. And then you go a kilometer and it's sandy. It's crazy. But then that stuff is, you dig a hole and it's probably a meter or two of this well drained soil, and then you hit clay.

Ben:
Oh, that's great.

Iwo:
It's like, it's a nice soil for chard- You know, it's a bit more fruity. It's like our wines can be... And the house we always tend to hold back for a couple of years, because when we first bottle it, it usually is almost undrinkable it's so tight.

Ben:
So tight.

Iwo:
And yeah, it's interesting. I find them interesting. I hope everyone else does.

Ben:
Yeah.

Iwo:
And then, yeah, we make our-

Ben:
And gingen clone as well. They're all...

Iwo:
Oh, gingen. We've got a little bit of clone five next door.

Ben:
Cool.

Iwo:
But the gingen's the one we mainly use.

Ben:
Yeah, great.

Iwo:
It seems to work for here.

Ben:
Yeah.

Iwo:
I don't know. I've never played around with a lot of those big onion clones, but which I wouldn't mind seeing.

Ben:
Only for one year, we had one side that had four different clones.

Iwo:
Oh really?

Ben:
Yeah. And you know, they were great. But I think you need to seed it year after year after year to really get an idea of what's going on.

Iwo:
Right. Yeah.

Ben:
Because you're dealing with one season. Yeah, cool. Okay, so three chardys. And then you've got cabernet.

Iwo:
Cabernet. So we make, at the moment we still got Cachorro and the house-in cabernet, but-

Ben:
They're both from this side?

Iwo:
Both from this side. So from last year we're going to blend them together into one wine, because Cachorro was our younger block, which is up the back there. It's 30 years old.

Ben:
Yeah, sure.

Iwo:
And there's actually, you can't say one's better than the other kind of thing. And the Cachorro side is so small that, you know, last year we made one barrel out of it. It's like it's so much, let's just make one wine.

Ben:
Yeah.

Iwo:
So we just have one cabernet for now. And then-

Ben:
And that's all in skins extended for?

Iwo:
Yeah, we vary. But I think... you know, with cabernet I was always like real traditionalist 30 days. And then we sort of pulled back from it the last couple of years. But I think now seeing the wines developing for a few years, I think I like what the longer skin contact does.

Ben:
Right.

Iwo:
So we'll go back to that I think this year.

Ben:
Back to 30 days?

Iwo:
Yeah. I don't know, there's always... I don't know if it's just like in my head.

Ben:
No it's not. It's that extended maceration thing where all the-

Iwo:
Yeah, I find that they become softer.

Ben:
They do. Yeah, well they join together. They polymerize and then most of them get so big they drop out. So you end up with sort of, not pre-aging but making longer train tenons, and then you have so much of them that half of them drop out as sediment and you end with a much smoother [crosstalk 00:53:30]

Iwo:
Smoother and much more age-ability.

Ben:
Oh, absolutely. Yeah, so they can drink now, but they can drink for longevity as well.

Iwo:
And you know, we're making a shit load od cabernet anymore.

Ben:
Yep.

Iwo:
So I feel like we just got to make the best cabernet we can.

Ben:
Yeah, cool.

Iwo:
So we're not[crosstalk 00:53:47]

Ben:
And it will be healthier now.

Iwo:
Yeah, it will just be healthier.

Ben:
What does cachorro mean?

Iwo:
Cachorro is like a... it's Spanish slang. It's like a little pup.

Ben:
Oh, okay.

Iwo:
But it's often like a... so like if a giant dude walks into a bar and he's seven foot tall, they'll be like "oh, he's a cachorro." So it's a little pup that's massive.

Ben:
Yeah, sure.

Iwo:
So it's like a bit of a... it's that little Spanish twang on it.

Ben:
Yeah, cool.

Iwo:
And the whole idea was because the cachorro block is actually on slightly heavier gravel, whereas this is more clay.

Ben:
So much thought into what you do.

Iwo:
So it was like the bigger wine from the younger vines.

Ben:
Yeah, okay.

Iwo:
And we really like the word.

Ben:
It's a great word.

Iwo:
We should have probably saved it for a Spanish wine.

Ben:
Keep it mate. Use it again.

Iwo:
Yeah, we'll transfer it over there.

Ben:
So then you've got the Sophie Rose? Is that from...

Iwo:
Sophie's Pinot.

Ben:
Pinot.

Iwo:
This is the Australia we know here.

Ben:
Yep.

Iwo:
So there's about one and a half hectares of pinot on this plot.

Ben:
She's there reaching for the sky.

Iwo:
Yeah. And there's actually fruit on them on this year.

Ben:
Wow.

Iwo:
If we can keep it that way.

Ben:
Yeah, yeah.

Iwo:
And then Chinchecle is another...

Ben:
So that's the Semillon that's on...

Iwo:
Yeah, it's Semillon. So that's behind our house.

Ben:
Yep. I know that block. I stole some cuttings from it.

Iwo:
Exactly. So it was a lot bigger, but it was so not productive that we've removed a whole lot of it.

Ben:
And that goes to concrete egg?

Iwo:
Concrete egg, hundred percent.

Ben:
On the floor?

Iwo:
Well, it was. The first two years were on the floor, and we loved it. And then the next two years the floor just wouldn't form. And being hard headed, I was like "I'm not touching it until the floor forms." And then I put it into my vinegar pile.

Ben:
Oh no.

Iwo:
But yeah, so then after that we were like, okay, we've learnt a lesson the hard way. If the floor doesn't form, let's just bottle it.

Ben:
Yeah, okay. Cool.

Iwo:
And to be honest, since 2012, the floor hasn't formed. So we give it every opportunity, but now like the 2019, the floor still hasn't formed, so we'll bottle it soon.

Ben:
Cool.

Iwo:
Because, you know, this is when shit goes wrong.

Ben:
Yeah. And I just saw you had bottling right now in the other room. So everything's hand bottled.

Iwo:
Yeah, everything's hand bottled. All this small stuff we hand bottle. We can quite easily do about a thousand bottle a day. Sorry, a thousand liters a day, which is manageable.

Ben:
Yep.

Iwo:
I'd like a bigger bottling line, but you know, that's the problem with the wine industry. Every little kit you want is expensive.

Ben:
Well, ours is so... the one we got... You know, so we have quite a big line, which I think Fast Felix bought in 1982 second hand off Darrenburg for as much as I can trace back.

Iwo:
Yeah, right.

Ben:
But it's so fast.

Iwo:
Yeah, that's ridiculous.

Ben:
Yeah, so instead of just-

Iwo:
You can probably do a thousand liters a minute.

Ben:
We had it running yesterday until the pump blew a seal. Yesterday was interesting. So we were running a carton every 24 seconds.

Iwo:
Jesus.

Ben:
But then when something goes wrong, so instead of slowing the machine down what we do is just get the mums in from town.

Iwo:
Yeah.

Ben:
And we set up in the morning, they rock up after dropping the kids off, and you know, bottle for six hours. Then they go home, we clean up. But you know, we've learned you can't do it with three people. You've got to have four, because I'm just there running from ah, the cap is broken or the labels shat itself. Because if you turn around you can see two cards have gone through before you know it and there's two cards you got to fix. Peel labels off or something.

Iwo:
Yeah, yeah, yeah. We don't have that problem. If shit goes wrong we just stop.

Ben:
Yeah, nice. Nice.

Iwo:
I definitely, that would be the next big expense, yeah. Well, that's for the winery. For the vineyard, I'd like some more [crosstalk 00:57:25].

Ben:
It just kind of...

Iwo:
It never ends.

Ben:
Never ends.

Iwo:
Never ends.

Ben:
Yeah. It is a game of compromises when you don't come in with a fortune. You just go to...

Iwo:
Yeah. And you've got to wait. Like, oh god, okay fine. I sell some wine, maybe I'll buy that.

Ben:
Yeah. Yeah, we're doing some stuff in the winery now. It's like just a simple thing. You know, okay now we're going to pain this room, or let's just wait for a big cellar door day, and then we're go and get all the paint and then we'll paint. That's just, that's the way it works.

Ben:
So then you've got Lello.

Iwo:
So Lello and Baba Yaga are the side, so they're both from next door, the next door site. Which is, they're both sauvignon blanc majority.

Ben:
Sure.

Iwo:
Lello is actually, we top it usually with a little bit of sauvignon from Chincecle block, just if we have any left over. You know, it gets full and we have an extra hundred liters.

Ben:
So that's all egg as well?

Iwo:
No, it was egg, but now we do it in barrel.

Ben:
Oh sorry. If the Chincecle egg is full.

Iwo:
If the Chincecle, and we've got, you know, a hundred liters left over. That odd thing, you know. So that might have anything from five to 20 percent sauvignon. Depends on the year. And Baba Yaga is... so it's the same vineyard sauvignon blanc. We pick it on the same day, ferment it the same. And then we just throw a bit of cabernet into the Baba Yaga.

Ben:
And Baba Yaga means witch.

Iwo:
Witch in Polish.

Ben:
Which you're close to Witch Cliff.

Iwo:
Exactly.

Ben:
Why did you make that wine?

Iwo:
Well, it started on a cold winter's night at Brooke's house in Sydney.

Ben:
Oh, it was in Sydney when this was... yeah, right.

Iwo:
We had a few wines at Ned's house, and Mikey, Mike Burney, dared us to co-ferment the two grossest grape varieties growing in Margretville.

Ben:
So [inaudible 00:59:08].

Iwo:
He probably forgot about it. And then I was like "I don't want to do this." Because we've got such a small amount of sauvignon blanc, we're not going to start making a SSB. And we were mucking around with the skinsy stuff, so. And we did just one barrel of the Baba Yaga, and it actually ended up being really tasty.

Ben:
Nice.

Iwo:
And everyone that tasted it was "Ah, get more, more."

Ben:
We love it. Yeah, we love it. We got so much of it at home.

Iwo:
It's so funny. Because it was literally one barrel. It wasn't even a barrel. I made it in a palicon tank.

Ben:
Right.

Iwo:
But it was like 300 liters in the bottom of the palicon tank.

Ben:
Yeah.

Iwo:
And I just kind of... I was like "Oh, what am I going to do with this." And I ended up having friends here, and I kept filling it up straight out of the tank and bringing magnums out. And people were just were going "Oh my god, can we buy this?" So we bottled that, and... Nearly ripped out your chain. Yeah, and then the next year we made a little bit more. 2018, we had a good crop. We actually did 300 cases of it, which was huge for us.

Ben:
Yeah.

Iwo:
And last year we made about two cases.

Ben:
What?

Iwo:
Well, last year there was just no...

Ben:
You only got two of them?

Iwo:
That frost really got hold of us last year, so we made nothing in general.

Ben:
Yeah, I maybe ringing you and going "Did you get frosted, because we got frosted."

Iwo:
Well, I know, but I didn't think we had. It was such a shock, because, you know, you rang me and I thought oh no. I knew there was a frost, but there was no damage. There was no visible damage. But it was just at flowering, and all the little flowers got burned off. So as the season progressed, we grew about 10 percent of what we should of. So we did out of 16 hectares we farmed last year, we got under 30 tons.

Ben:
Jesus. Yes, we lost, yeah, it would have been over half of our chardonnay and our [shannon 01:09:25]. We're four kilometers from the ocean, yet the week before summer we get a frost.

Iwo:
You've been here longer than I have. Have you seen a frost, a spring frost ever?

Ben:
I've seen... you know, you can get risky times late August. You might get a slight, you know.

Iwo:
In August?

Ben:
Yeah. But not on the last week of November.

Iwo:
No, no, no. So that's why I keep, you know, I'm looking out there now going "This is great, but..."

Ben:
Yeah, it's unheard of.

Iwo:
You know, it's freaking... We got the air conditioner on today.

Ben:
Yeah.

Iwo:
But again, we had a hailstorm five days ago.

Ben:
Five days ago a hailstorm. It's going to be 40 degrees tomorrow in Perth.

Iwo:
And then it's getting back to cold, is it?

Ben:
Yeah.

Iwo:
I don't even want to look at the weather reports anymore. It just stresses me out too much.

Ben:
I know.

Iwo:
But there's not much you can do about it. I mean...

Ben:
Well, I don't know. Because like I think if you know you're going to get one, you prepare. Like, you go to New Zealand, look at the big fans or the all headers.

Iwo:
But what are we going to do?

Ben:
Mate, just drive around with your spray unit through the night if you have to. Because it's going to be that rare. You just need to blow the stuff out of there.

Ben:
So, Baba Yaga, none of that. Any other wines?

Iwo:
Last year, none.

Ben:
The sauce?

Iwo:
Oh, so the sauce is kind of our... you know, because we've all got left over bits of fruit and wine and stuff that doesn't make the cut for the top end stuff. So the sauce is essentially just the leftovers. So we've only bottled one so far, which is the red.

Ben:
Yep.

Iwo:
And it's not bottled deceiving. It's just supposed to be a bit of fun. So that was the whole idea, that the sauce stuff is our fun cheap wine.

Ben:
Sure.

Iwo:
And we can muck around with it and do blends from various vineyards. It's not single vineyard, it's not single varietal. So we've done a red. We'll do a white soon.

Ben:
Cool.

Iwo:
Maybe a pink in the future. You know, like if this year's a good crop and we've got some excess stuff, we'll much around with whatever.

Ben:
Yeah, right.

Iwo:
Yeah. I think that's it. I think we've covered all the wines there.

Ben:
There we go. And what's the future? I remember when I first met you, you showed me this beautiful model of the winery you were going to build.

Iwo:
Yeah, which I'm so glad we didn't do.

Ben:
Ah, it looked good. I remember seeing you going "Oh my god. I've just got this little shed." Where is this guy doing all this stuff? This is amazing.

Iwo:
Yeah, it would have been a big line.

Ben:
Yeah.

Iwo:
And it was one of the... You know, when we first started we were very enthusiastic.

Ben:
Oh yeah.

Iwo:
And the shed's perfectly fine.

Ben:
You think you'll build it?

Iwo:
Nah, I don't think so.

Ben:
No? I'd like to see it.

Iwo:
I would love to have an underground barrel hall.

Ben:
Yeah.

Iwo:
That would be, you know. But that's definitely not in the near future.

Ben:
No.

Iwo:
Like that would be a dream.

Ben:
Yeah. It would be.

Iwo:
You know, it's... Because we've seen a lot of those sorts of things in Europe and...

Ben:
You go to Champagne, you got those cellars and you got these rusty little elevators that just go down.

Iwo:
I did the little train tour through Champagne.

Ben:
Oh, did you? Nice.

Iwo:
Every time you sit in [mowey 01:03:47] champagne, you're sitting in 30 kilometers of underground cellars.

Ben:
That's crazy.

Iwo:
Wow.

Ben:
I went to this little family place, and they... because, you know a lot of those tunnels, where they store the champagne and mature. And they interconnected with other place and they use a lot of it in the war as well to escape occupation. But they said "oh yeah, we can show you. But our elevator's been condemned by the local government, so we're not allowed to use it. But it still works if you want to get in and have a go." I was like "All right," so we stepped in. Naomi, myself, and the person who owned the place and was showing us around. And we were like honestly squeezed up next to each other and all the lights went out at one second and then they came back on and they went down. You could see like this... you're not in a sealed box, you're in this cage thing.

Iwo:
Right.

Ben:
So you sort of see how fast you're moving against the outside wall. We just kept going and going and going. You just end up right... You know, it was crazy down there. It was magic.

Iwo:
Crazy, isn't it? Where we hang out in Spain, Ateca, the whole town has got, like every house has got an underground cellar.

Ben:
Yeah, nice.

Iwo:
Apparently they are all somehow connected, but you know this is thousands of years.

Ben:
Yeah, for single's night.

Iwo:
Yeah.

Ben:
Yeah, down at the pub.

Iwo:
But yeah, you go into these houses that like you don't even expect it and they're huge. Like this house is tiny above it, and the underground cellar is sometimes as big as a shed.

Ben:
There's a bowling alley down there.

Iwo:
Big arched rooms and stuff. It's amazing.

Ben:
Wow. That's great.

Iwo:
You know, like thousands of years old.

Ben:
Yeah.

Iwo:
And the temp- You know, it will be a 40 degree day outside. You go down there and it's like 16.

Ben:
Why don't we do it here? Because it's too easy to build now.

Iwo:
Well, I don't know.

Ben:
Too young?

Iwo:
I think you could definitely do it.

Ben:
Yeah.

Iwo:
It was just one of those things that was I guess to... I mean, it's a big expense.

Ben:
Yeah. Yeah. We, because we look at, you know, how to chill the barrel hall. You know, the more you can fit in there that's cooler, the better. We have chiller unit, because we don't have three phase with all the biodiesel plants all up and running now. But we need to run a generator to run the chiller unit.

Iwo:
Oh, do you not have three phase?

Ben:
No.

Iwo:
I thought you did.

Ben:
No. So that's what-

Iwo:
Same problem as us.

Ben:
I thought you did.

Iwo:
No, we bought a generator.

Ben:
Yeah, okay. So now we built a little shed for our generator, which is next to the diesel hard stand. But we get all the fish and chip oil from town.

Iwo:
Nice.

Ben:
From Squidlips. You know that?

Iwo:
Yeah.

Ben:
So we're converting that into biodiesel so that we can run all of the three phase. So basically the tourists eat fish and chips, we get the old oil to power our winery, which is cool. But the other idea... sorry, so that's to run a chiller, but the chillers is only connected to the tanks. So in order to chill the... My hay fevers kicking in now. So to chill the, sorry, the barrel hall, we also have a dam and quite a big water loss into the level aquifer. So it sort of goes from the aquifer, and because it's near Basiltown it's quite full of... it comes out beautiful and clear and it's delicious. But as the water comes out, it oxidizes and the iron comes out and falls out. And then it smells like sulfur. So you sort of got to get it oxidized first. So we run it over a reed bed, then it hits the dam and it settles out in the dam. Then we can use that water.

Iwo:
Wow.

Ben:
The winery runs on rain water, but just for, you know, gardens and whatnot, and the vineyard. So it goes from there to the dam, so what we're going to do is hook up into the barrel hall, run it through there in front of a fan like a radiator, then run it to the dam to fill the dam. Because it comes out at 14 degrees.

Iwo:
Just put a few little sprinklers up in your barrel hall and then just big industrial fans.

Ben:
Yeah, yeah.

Iwo:
Cheap air conditioning.

Ben:
The humidity would probably stop all the wasps I get from the barrels. How much is this consulting that you're giving me now?

Iwo:
It's a try for the champagne consulting. The sparkling pit mat. That's the one we forgot. The pit mat.

Ben:
Oh yeah. What's that called?

Iwo:
Ah, Claremont.

Ben:
Oh, right. Nice. After Almat.

Iwo:
After Almat that works with us.

Ben:
Cool.

Iwo:
Clairmo.

Ben:
Oh, that's great. We did one batch this year that we sort of got the sugar slightly wrong, so I was pretty excited.

Iwo:
Oh, is it?

Ben:
Don't know what to do. Yeah.

Iwo:
I think we were so paranoid, if anything we probably went a bit under.

Ben:
Ah, right.

Iwo:
But it seems good now.

Ben:
Yeah. It's meant to be under two atmospheres.

Iwo:
Yeah. For months, I was like opening it, "Oh no. We fucked this up." And now it's like yes.

Ben:
Yeah, cool. And look at the other now.

Iwo:
No, it's exciting. It's great.

Ben:
You got to do those things to get yourself interested.

Iwo:
Well, that's right. You can't just do the same old stuff all the time. And I think it's... I mean, you've been telling me to make a sparkling for years. I wish I'd done it earlier now.

Ben:
Yeah.

Iwo:
But it's quite a chore. Like you know, you're dealing with vintage, and then it's like...

Ben:
We're going to bottle right now? But we got to pick, though. We got to pick.

Iwo:
What are you talking about? Bottling?

Ben:
Yeah, basically when we did the quavery and the bush, that was an experiment for us as well. It's like what are we going this year that we haven't done before?

Iwo:
Yeah.

Ben:
Yeah, it was all right. Had a good party.

Iwo:
Yeah, I think I'm more or less done with experimenting.

Ben:
Really? No. Come on mate.

Iwo:
Oh, like, yeah, you know, we'll play around with some skin.

Ben:
How about 40 percent grenache pinot

Iwo:
No, that's what we're playing around in Spain, our pinot earlier. So this year, Sarah came back a bit freaked out, because we picked all this stuff like two or three weeks early than what we normally would have picked it.

Ben:
Right. What sort of spitz are you looking at?

Iwo:
Oh, like we're going for about 12 percent alcohol. You know, like a lot. Because the acids over there, it's such a tough one, because we'll be picking stuff, there's 14 [baramay 01:09:21] and the pH is at like three point one, three point two.

Ben:
Yeah.

Iwo:
So it's...

Ben:
Why? Because of the mountains?

Iwo:
Yeah, because it's so high up. Like, we're at a thousand meters.

Ben:
Yeah.

Iwo:
You know, so you've got... and there's no shortage of sunshine there. It doesn't rain, you know, so you've got blue skies everyday.

Ben:
So how do you deal with... oh, because it rains underneath you, because you're above the clouds? Or no?

Iwo:
It just doesn't rain. It's an extension of the Sahara.

Ben:
All right. So how do you deal with the acid thing?

Iwo:
Well, that's why we're this year a bit like "Oh, let's see how this goes." We've been gradually doing it every year a little bit less. You know, a little bit earlier, a little bit earlier. And everything's been fine so far, but then this was like a bigger jump.

Ben:
Leap of faith. It will be good.

Iwo:
No, I think it will be fine. Yeah.

Ben:
Now that we, in our vineyards, you know we now test for... you know, we're testing grapes for maturities. We test for pH. We test for tritatable acidity, but also for malic.

Iwo:
Yeah.

Ben:
Because we got some weird numbers the last few years.

Iwo:
Lot of big malics?

Ben:
Huge malics. Because everything goes through malo, you're thinking you're picking something at like 11 grams of acid. Then it drops down, you end up with like six or something.

Iwo:
Yeah, yeah.

Ben:
It's crazy.

Iwo:
No, that's what when we first got here we were saying. You know, we're picking things a lot riper. And then malo finished and you're like what the hell?

Ben:
pH of four point nine.

Iwo:
Why? Chardonnay, wow. But yeah, so now we... And that's a big step from what you learn from the Europeans, I guess. That's where it all came from.

Ben:
Yeah.

Iwo:
And then working here, we're working with different specs.

Ben:
Yeah.

Iwo:
And like we can definitely get alcohol right.

Ben:
Oh yeah.

Iwo:
But the acids, you know the main thing for us is, because we don't add any acids, is getting that acids right. That's the only thing we look at. We don't care about the potential alcohol at all.

Ben:
No. We're the same.

Iwo:
We're just paranoid about...

Ben:
I had nine percent [petnat 01:11:08] three years ago.

Iwo:
Oh, really?

Ben:
Yeah. Or nine and a half.

Iwo:
That's good.

Ben:
Yeah. Sorry, I interrupted. Yeah, you want that natural acidity.

Iwo:
Oh, definitely. And again, looking at those malics to make that they don't end up with something weird.

Ben:
Yeah. So okay, from here no more experimentation?

Iwo:
Well, you know, there's always something, but not too crazy. And that is, like the sauce thing will be... you know, that will be our little bit play.

Ben:
Yeah.

Iwo:
And we're doing the whole thing with Sarah's brother, so that will be Si Vintners. That will be a bit more...

Ben:
Oh neat. So that's on Carder's Row. It's going to be a brewery.

Iwo:
A brewery and a-

Ben:
Water park? Water park? Petting zoo.

Iwo:
Petting zoo. Yeah, we're talking about it. We want to do a ninja warrior course.

Ben:
Yeah, nice. I know you've been training.

Iwo:
Yeah, I've been training.

Ben:
Like kado.

Iwo:
Kado training. But mainly the whole idea is it will be a brewery. You know, it all initiated because we all like drinking sour beers and there's not many sour beers around. The idea came around about eight years ago.

Ben:
Nice.

Iwo:
But it's finally coming into fruition.

Ben:
That's great.

Iwo:
So there's a lot more sour beer around these days.

Ben:
Yeah, there is.

Iwo:
So we'll do sour beer and lager, because that's kind what we drink.

Ben:
Yeah, cool.

Iwo:
And then we just do a bunch of wines. You know, it will be just whatever blends we want to do.

Ben:
Yep.

Iwo:
And, yeah, a bit of a restaurant. Nick's right into his cooking.

Ben:
Cool. So is that, and then sell it all here?

Iwo:
Well, yeah. It's more difficult than I thought.

Ben:
Yeah, it is, isn't it. Council and health. You got to just keep plugging away, though. Want to borrow Paul?

Iwo:
I went to the council the other day and I... Yeah, can I borrow Paul? I need a beer.

Ben:
Yeah, cool. I'll get one too. Probably wrap it up soon. So we've got-

Iwo:
Finally made it happen.

Ben:
I know.

Iwo:
You've been nagging me for what? Like three months, four months?

Ben:
I bought all the gear about four years ago and I've only managed five episodes so far. I think [Nan 01:12:56] just got sick of things showing up from eBay or Amazon, going "What's this? What have you bought now?" "It's all right, it's for the podcast." Three years later, it's like "When are you going to start this podcast? You said all this gear..." You know, it's like "All right, I'll do something." So, yeah. It's funny. But we got Gomi [Sky 01:13:11] next week, then a couple weeks after we got the gig at our place.

Iwo:
Yeah.

Ben:
Catching up a bit, mate. And New Year's resolution as well. We'll be surfing.

Iwo:
We'll be surfing.

Ben:
What is our resolution you've decided for us?

Iwo:
Well, I like the... I like Nan's idea, but I don't know if we can do a hundred.

Ben:
A hundred surfs.

Iwo:
A hundred surfs in a year.

Ben:
There's minimus as well. You got to catch three waves, wasn't it?

Iwo:
Oh god.

Ben:
What was the thing?

Iwo:
Rules don't apply. Ours is just getting in a car with a surf board and going to the beach.

Ben:
The board has to be unstrapped from the roof or taken out of the vehicle.

Iwo:
That's it.

Ben:
And wetsuit has to be put on. We have to touch the wetsuit.

Iwo:
Touch the wetsuit.

Ben:
Yeah. Yeah, nice. So people can buy your booze through you? Website?

Iwo:
Through us on the website. Si Vintners dot com.

Ben:
Si Vintners dot com. I'll put all this in the show notes. Instagram is @Si Vintners.

Iwo:
@Si Vintners. We don't do Facebook.

Ben:
Oh, we do now.

Iwo:
Do you?

Ben:
Yeah, yeah.

Iwo:
Fancy.

Ben:
Yeah, I know. We're right up there with all the latest internet stuff.

Iwo:
Yeah, yeah.

Ben:
Facebook.

Iwo:
And yeah, a whole bunch of places selling wine.

Ben:
Nice.

Iwo:
I won't start mentioning people, because then I'll definitely forget someone.

Ben:
Yeah, then they'll get pissed at you. So basically you're not available on our website. That could get posted as well. All right, so thanks mate. I think we should probably sign off and finishing this beer.

Iwo:
All right. Cheers, Benny.

Ben:
Cheers, mate.

Iwo:
So yep.

Ben:
Well, I hope you enjoyed that episode with Iwo. That was episode six. I can't believe we've got to six so far. It's taken a little longer than I thought. As always, if you get a chance, please rate and review the podcast, because that always helps. Have a great week. Bye.

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