Thank you 2023

Thank you 2023
The end of the year always sneaks up on us at the farm.

After a slightly slower pace in winter, spring hits with all its might. If you sit still long enough, you can almost see the vines growing taller, reaching for sunlight, shouting out for a wire lift to keep them in line. The race was a quick one this year, as we experienced early budburst and a very warm and dry season to date. With another vintage just around the corner, we feel grateful for our unique little farm with its range of microclimates and forgiving terrain to produce exciting wines and produce.

This year has seen our farm family grow and change shape, with new additions and new life, as well as a heartfelt farewell to our lovely dog Pepper. Chefs Jess and Adam have welcomed their beautiful baby boy, Marley, into the world a little early, but as Jacquie, our front-of-house superstar, says, "a little early, a little more time to love him". We are so happy for these two and have so much love for the little guy!
Jess and Adam with baby MarleyChefs Adam and Jess with baby Marley

Our gardens have doubled in size, allowing us to get closer to meeting the full demand of almost 20,000 meals per year. About 3500 of these are enjoyed by our staff at 11.00 am each day as a shared lunch. We all patiently await the gong of the ship's bell, rung by the chefs to denote it is hot and ready. The farm and vineyard team then scoot back to join the long table lunch with the entire Glenarty team.

Over the year, our pig numbers have slowly increased, with eight new sows joining the farm family this year. If you have experienced one of our farm tours, you may have met the originals, Pamela, Angelina, Gwyneth, Jennifer and Brad (the bore), all named after red-carpet stars. Our new sows, bred from Gwyneth, are all named after breeds of apples to eradicate the chance of interbreeding.

Our first-ever project series wines were released mid-year, and we were overwhelmed by the response to our single clone expressions of Pinot Noir, encouraging the acquisition and planting of a new clone to add to the mix. Not that Ben needs much encouragement to grow more on the farm! He will always have the 'grow' bug and curious mind to see what is possible on our little patch of dirt.
Our new Vineyard manager, Jarod Bawden, is excited about this new block. The rich loam soil with high ironstone content is reminiscent of the soils in Tasmania, which produce some of his favourite expressions of the variety. Tassie is where Jarod honed his knowledge of how to grow amazing Pinot. We can't wait to see where this takes us.
Archer Mcdonald with Savagnin cuttings
Sitting pretty in our new nursery are 8,000 new rootlings, enjoying the sunshine, biding their time until they are ready to be planted next year. Once the nets go on in the New Year, we will survey the future vineyard blocks and plan for cover cropping and soil preparation. Planting next winter will see the vineyard increase in size by 3 ha, with more Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Savagnin going in the ground.

We are so grateful for your continuous support of our little farm and are still blown away by how much interest there is in our paddock-to-plate dining.
Being awarded Best Destination Dining in Australia by Gourmet Traveller this year was a huge surprise, considering the calibre of contestants in the same category as us. We are so proud of our hardworking team that makes the dream a reality; I often pinch myself as I can't believe how lucky we have been to attract such dedicated, skilled and creative people to work with us.
Awards like this are big enough to put us on the map, making bookings a little tighter and expectations a little higher. Still, we know this won't waver our dedication to regenerative farming and celebrating the land we call home with you fantastic folk.

We love that we get the opportunity to grow, create and share this landscape with you. It's not without hard work, but each year, as the calendars reset, we get another shot at doing it all a little bit better, a little bit more sustainably and with a little bit more fun; how lucky are we?
With all our thanks,
Sasha and Ben Mcdonald
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