It was great to look back of 30 years of Thorn-Clarke recently and celebrate the occasion with many of our employees, supporters and customers.
I know it is a bit of a cliché but we started from the ground up literally. Buying some land was our first step. Followed by leaning on various family members to help out.
The later went on for quite a while but eventually Thorn-Clarke emerged as a Vineyard focused winemaker. Even though 30 years sounds like a long time it has gone in the blink of an eye. Every year brings new wines, new ideas and new customers and it’s a great place to be.
Of great help to us in the early years were my two Grandfathers. One was a winegrape grower and farmer all his life with a very dry sharp sense of humour. The other a retired school teacher with a sharp mind and love for the land. They were quite dissimilar in character. But both were a great help to us. One of my first jobs on the vineyard was to help water them, as baby vines need a good drink to get established. We had an old Bedford truck which had been rigged up with a water tank on the back and we spent the day driving up and down the rows of vines watering them by hand. In the middle of Summer it was a good workout!
Later on when we were establishing the winery we had this old genset up that needed constant attention. Keeping the winery running on this old genset was one of banes of our lives. It was a great day when we could finally connect up mains power and put that old genset to rest. So it is kind of ironic that next year we are installing a large bank of solar panels at the winery to lessen our dependence on mains power!