18 Sep 2012

The next phase

Almost a year has passed since I departed Australia for my huge journey discovering the world of wine, and I have been fortunate enough to experience a great many things. Apart from learning about some of the world's greatest wine regions and the many wines and winemakers, I have also had the chance to visit some amazing cities and areas across three continents. The past seven weeks I have taken a break from the wine related travel and enjoyed being a fairly typical Australian backpacker. I spent about five weeks in the United Kingdom and Ireland; visiting breweries, historic cities, bars, lochs, distilleries, cliffs and of course, more bars. It was pretty tough work, don't get me wrong, but it was also a nice opportunity to meet more people and be a tourist.

The two towers
Perfect pint
Scotland. Stunning.
Following this I visited some friends back in continental Europe, in Paris, Utrecht, Amsterdam and Hamburg, and managed to fit in a weekend in Berlin. Amsterdam and Hamburg are both amazingly beautiful and cultured port cities, and it was nice to see some of the Dutch countryside. I had already been to Paris and it was of course great to return, but Berlin really surprised and delighted me. It is such a unique city and hardly feels like Germany, and is more a product of its recent history than any other city I have visited. The way that 20th Century history has influenced life in Berlin today is evident with the juxtaposition of historic buildings constantly being restored to fuel tourism to the city, and the vibrant and diverse street art and counter-culture of the people who actually live beyond their means.

A windmill next to a canal; what better representation of The Netherlands?
Some of the amazing street art in Berlin
So after a gap in my wine experience where I have been drinking predominantly beer (for cultural and budgetary reasons), I have returned to the Rheinhessen region of Germany to take a position with a winery as the vintage intern. The winery is the first of two I will be working for, the second of which I will join in about six weeks. Weingut Gunderloch was one that I visited in February, and is arguably one of the best in the region if not in the country in my humble opinion. Of course the vineyards look a little different to how they did when I last visited. Here is the link to my entry when I visited this winery.

My home for the next six weeks
During the vintage I will be taking photographs to keep a photo-diary of my vintage experience. Of course considering I will be working up to 72 hours a week, writing about my daily activities won't be possible so I will visualise it as it progresses. Feel free to ask any questions about specific (or general) things and I will endeavor to answer them. I'll see you on the other side!

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