St Clements Estates
St Clements 2007 Merlot

St. Clements of Red Hill

‘The Making of a Dream'

Well, who said that love at first sight does not exist? Whoever they may be, they are certainly wrong, but how can you fall in love with a piece of dirt? Well, it is now very simple to see, as the vision I have long been dreaming of has finally been realised.

It was June 15, 2001 . I remember driving along Talga Road with the Estate Agent, who pointed at a gate and stated, “Oh, and by the way, this property is also for sale!” I noticed the sign on the gate ‘St Clements of Red Hill' and immediately remarked “I think that we would probably be better off with a different name, perhaps something aboriginal?” But, with this vision of the gate, the vision of the steep hill at the end of the track was also impressed on me, and this image has never disappeared.

The gate

By July 2001 I had made the decision that this was the place at which I would like to rest my bones, and it was from this moment that the hard work began. Settlement was not finalised until March 2002, and following this, work began in May to June of the same year, clearing the site and ripping through that beautiful soil that lay waiting, like a sleeping princess, to be woken up and brought to life, to be given what she was born to bear –

‘A Vineyard'.

On the Hill

We planted the Semillon on September 27 2002 , followed by the Shiraz and the Merlot on September 30, with good friend Father Graham McIntyre present to give a blessing. From this date. viticulturalist Keith Holder, along with Carol and all his troupe, did a wonderful job in keeping the young vines growing as healthy as they currently are and enabling them to produce some of the best grapes in the Hunter.

The first crop was produced in February 2005 and it appears to be a great one, with the Semillon bottled in May 2005, promising to be a wonderful drop with a lovely straw colour and so crispy - yum!!!

The Shiraz and Merlot were rested peacefully in new American Oak barrels, waiting and intensifying in flavour until January 2006, when they were bottled, ready for consumption

‘The Label'
The label is taken from a Father's Day card, which my daughter Kristy once made for me a few years back. I thought it resembled the hardships and joys, which came with the installation of this Estate. A little angel with a huge smile, but with a tear on his face, fortunately it is a tear of joy.
My son Mark has been blessed with the ability to work both with his hands and also with the computer, he is the artist who hand drew and worked the card to be stylish and unique, adding colour and brightness.

I will end this short story by thanking my wife Rita for all the support, patience and hard work that she had to do while I was busy building this dream. Also a special thanks to my children for their support during this period.

Click here to read the next chapter of The Dream

Wine is bottled poetry.
Robert Louis Stevenson