In the tradition of old, almost 300 people of all ages took time on Sunday afternoon to gather, relax and have fun in the scenic bush setting of Padthaway’s golf club to celebrate the end of work for this year’s wine grape harvest, and to reflect a little.
Importantly, the celebration was the inspiration of the twenty or more Vignerons of the Padthaway wine grape industry and its leadership team.
Its sole purpose was to bring together, recognise and honour the hard work, skill, and commitment of all the people who directly and indirectly contribute to making each year’s harvest a success. Everyone present came as a guest of the family of each Vigneron.
Padthaway Grape Growers Association President John Summers welcomed everyone on behalf of his Executive Committee.
“It is a very great privilege,” John said in his opening remarks, “to welcome everyone, all as Australians, who choose to work with such common purpose and enterprise in such a beautiful, productive and safe place as Padthaway, and with such an exciting economic future unfolding before us.
“My job as President has been made easier by the energetic, committed and thoughtful team of professional next generation Vignerons within our Executive. They have so much enthusiasm for their industry, and they really do get how the future depends on their people and their community.”
John went on to add perspective to the gathering, saying:
“An industry is nothing without good people. Good people cannot exist without the supporting context of a sustaining community and without properly developed industries - communities wither and die.”
He concluded by saying, “When we understand how vital all elements of this interdependency are, we can then get on with the task of building their attributes”.
The day was filled with children’s games, music by guitarist Scott Fink, a Pétanque tournament won by Steve Tierney (with runner-up Emily Edwards), and the entertaining feature event of the “Wood Duck Award” judged by popular wine-maker Sue Bell and awarded to a deserving over 65 local recipient.
The winner did commence proceedings by wishing “over 65s to be excluded from the Wood Duck award”, so those assembled thought they knew he was “done”.
Obviously this was not the case, and with the observation made that “everyone is capable of being a Wood Duck awardee – if only we knew!”
An excellent array of locally produced wines were available for tasting along with tasty morsels of Asian, Afghani and barbecue food prepared and served by members of the Padthaway wine grape community.
John closed the celebrations with a thought-provoking invitation to everyone to think about how we build the stories that make Padthaway special and different.
“This is what our many wine visitors seek, and which add authenticity to what we offer,” he said.
“By exploring and understanding the vast history of this country where once the waves of the Southern Ocean crashed on the foothills of the Padthaway-Naracoorte Range some 60 to 80 million years ago, and where our original people of this old nation lived some 60,000 years before us, then we are able to tell our stories in a way that means so much more, and with which we can build a better future” he concluded.
The Padthaway Grape Growers Association Statement Of Purpose can be found at https://www.padthawaywineregion.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/PGGA-Strategic-Objectives-2018.pdf