25 Year Reflection
Author: Kevin Karstrom
Coming into summer is my favourite time of year. Things are warming up, no need to wear a jumper in the morning. The sunrises are earlier and the sunsets are later so more daylight hours to do stuff even if that stuff is taking a nap on a hammock suspended between two palm trees. Looking back on 25 years of life at Botobolar takes a bit of time. There were many good years and more than a couple pretty bad years. When examining the historical record I found that even in the bad years the Shiraz and Cabernet shone the brightest and I guess that’s why they are my pride and joy. Getting to the end of the road I still had my deepest pride in the Shiraz, that’s where Gils ashes were spread after his death in 2012.
There were many good wines that came out of the late 90’s, Marsanne, CSM (Cabernet, Shiraz, Mourvèdre) and the 97 Cabernet, all good solid wines coming from years of good rainfall. After 2004 the rain became patchier and the storms more violent with hail and spectacular lightning shows. The vineyard suffered and after some dismal harvests over the last few years we saw the death of a wonderful experiment that started 48 years before. During those 48 years though, many more vineyards saw the light and started growing grapes organically. The experiment wasn’t in vain, it was more of a trigger for things to come. As I reflect, it's also satisifying to know the earth that maintained the vineyard is healthier than when we started, richer soils from natural inputs, with more diverse ground covers.
Organic wine has almost become mainstream with so many producers willing to take the leap of faith. I am happy to say that the “Preservative Free Shiraz” will continue to be offered when all the other wines, Shiraz, Cabernet, Rose and Chardonnay are sold out. Preservative Free wines started at Botobolar in 1984 and through the 90’s I had many winemakers say I was crazy, funny, that it will be the last wine standing. Thanks for listening to me for 25 years, it’s been a lovely ride.