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“There are more memory cells in the brain than there are bubbles in 20,000 litres of sparkling wine”

A wine which is memorable has made its mark. As with an unforgettable human being, a feature or a personality facet is the trigger for the rest of the character to reveal itself. It you want to remember wines, you will. If it is important to you to recall wines, you will do so. Once the habit starts, it’s irreversible.

Usually, you remember wine because the occasion was so memorable; you drank an unusally delicious and rare sauvignon blanc at a dinner party, say. How can you forget such an occasion? It doesn’t happen every day. But what if you could turn the tasting or drinking of all wines into memorable occasions? You’d remember all the wines.

Just remember to remember and make notes. Every wine you taste wll, with practice, offer up descriptive ideas as each is tasted. Every wine stands more chance of being mentally filed. Memory is a filing system. If the wine isn’t put in the filing system it can’t be found. How do we file things? By orderly references.

After a while, if it matters enough to you, you will find a simple flavour/style analogy for every wine you drink. It will get filed away under that analogy and be capable of recall when you consult a wine list or look at wines on a shelf.

The more wines you drink, the more wines you will remember. Happy thought, isn’t it?

From The Sensational Liquid, Malcolm Gluck (author of Superplonk)

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We know how wonderful wine touring can be – driving around the countryside exploring new cellar doors then heading home with cases of wine clinking away in the back seat!

In the olden days, that was the only way you could have gotten your mits on Jester Hill wines, but then luckily the internet came along – now you can order from our website or via boutiquewines.com.au (and those clinking cases just turn up on your doorstep!)

The Jester goodness has made its way out into the big wide world – the Mercure in Brisbane have our Cabernet Sauvignon 08 on their Grand Vins list for Spring/Summer (a huge honour!) and Gips Restaurant in Toowoomba and G’s Wine Bar at Griffith Uni also stock our drops.

On the Granite Belt, we are just popping up everywhere. O’Maras bottle shop, the Rocks Restaurant, Happy Valley Restaurant and the Aussie Beef Steakhouse  are all super supportive of local wines.

You may have lots of options for finding Jester Hill wines now, but don’t forget to pop in and say hi once in a while!

PS: Watch this space. The Jester goodness is about to appear in lots of other venues! 🙂

'Serene' by Jaz

Usually visitors to the Cellar Door make a hasty beeline for the bar and the wine, but recently their attention has been diverted by the bright and beautiful artwork on our walls.

Local Stanthorpe artist Jaz, a busy mum of two girls, creates her bold paintings in a small studio under their home, the walls of which are filled with her pieces. Her paintings are imaginative and colourful, and most can be hung vertically or horizontally – “it’s rewarding knowing that people are able to get different views” Jaz says. She loves working with different textures, using wool, papers and unusual materials such as sand and wax.

A self taught artist, she draws inspiration from her daughters, her mood and what is happening around her at the time, ensuring each artwork is definately a one off. It sounds like Jaz inspires her daughters in return, as they both create their own little paintings for their bedrooms!

Jaz’s work can be viewed and purchased at our Cellar Door and Pure Heaven. She also has paintings in all the cabins at Happy Valley Retreat.

This is the last weekend for our little Jester Cafe, which is a seasonal venture. Thank you to all those who have dined & wined here over the frosty months.

Spring time brings cheese platters perfect for lazy afternoons on our terrace, watching your friends make up the rules to Bocce as they go. Of course we will still be offering our wonderful homemade cakes and great Mackellar Range coffee 7 days.

Our new opening hours are 10am-5pm Monday to Saturday and 10am-3pm Sundays. Come visit us soon!

Many weeks ago Merri told me that she had found a small brown frog in an unusual place. He had made a new home in the top left hand corner of the paper towel dispenser in the mens bathroom. Merri had been carefully restocking the paper towels, so as not to disturb the newly named Ferdinand (after Magellan the explorer).

We allowed frog Ferdinand to remain in residence for quite some time, but worried he would starve, we carefully took him out to the pond garden aka amphibian heaven. Then one day not so long ago, lo and behold – Ferdinand had returned! Like his namesake before him, he had traversed many miles (1 centimetre=1 frog mile) of grass and pipes, perhaps a wall, perhaps a drain… we will never know the obstacles that stood between this small creature and his plastic wall mounted retreat.

For weeks we posted insects into the top of the dispenser, to ensure Ferdinand had sufficient nutrition. We thought he was hibernating for Winter but a little while ago, he vanished as quickly as he had appeared. Whomever restocks the paper towels may be seen to have a faraway expression, as they pause and ponder the whereabouts of our tiny bulbous eyed friend.

But don’t be sad! On this very morning, while Rebecca and I were in the kitchen, baking and drinking coffee – lo and behold! A small brown frog, sitting quietly at the kitchen door. We weren’t sure if he was coming or going, but we popped him out into the garden, to go on his way. Was it Ferdinand? He looked very much like him, perhaps a little skinnier, but maybe that’s what happens when you no longer have room service delivered to your dispenser.

Charlie the Wonder Dog

Who's a handsome boy then!

 Most people come for the wine, some come for the coffee and homemade cakes, but some come for The Dog. Yes, Charlie the Wine Dog is amassing a legion of devoted fans.

Charlie is 99% Boxer and belongs to winery owners John & Genevieve and lives in Lismore during the week, in a tiny yard (tiny compared to the vast acreage here). Upon his arrival at Jester Hill on Friday afternoons, all that can be seen of him from within the cellar door is just a brown streak as he gallops about, reacquainting himself with “his property”.  

Charlie’s BFF is Blaze, who lives with Tara and James up the hill. On their playdates Blaze and Charlie become a red and brown streak of boisterousness, which is adorable until they return from a dip in the dam and expect cuddles.

His favourite day is Saturday, when bus after bus offers up dozens of potential mates, generous with pats and scratches and even a willingness to throw a slobbery tennis ball. Charlie likes to ‘talk’ to new friends, and is working on not jumping up, and learning to give the ball back so it can be thrown again.

One day Charlie hopes to be featured in Wine Dogs Australia.

More from The Wine Bible 2011:

4.5 glass rating:  Touchstone Cabernet Sauvignon 2008. Strong purple-crimson; a well-made wine, the medium bodied palate with very good varietal fruit expression courtesy of blackcurrant and redcurrant flavours that are focused and persistent. Rating:91

4.5 glass rating: Touchstone Shiraz 2008. Strong crimson-purple; a quite vibrant and juicy shiraz, with blackberry, plum & spice on a well-balanced, medium bodied palate, has good length. Rating 90

We also received 4 glass ratings for our Vintner’s Reserve Shiraz 2008 (not yet released), Cabernet 2007 (sold out) and Genevieve’s favourite – the Petit Verdot 2008.

We’re so thrilled at our results and congratulations to the other high scoring Granite Belt wineries – especially Boireann and Summit Estate.