“Australian’s all let us rejoice, for we are young and free”. Well, I don’t know about the young part but it is wonderful to live in a country where we have freedom of speech and freedom of choice. We are a multicultural melting pot with influences coming from everywhere and these influences, happily, have made it down into the food we eat and the wines we drink. For me, growing up in an Italian household meant that salami, radicchio, and crostoli were just as much a part of my daily diet, as were Vegemite and Sao biscuits.
Nobody could believe the horror of the 2009 fires as they swept through much of Victoria including large parts of the Yarra Valley. We were not exempt either, losing a few hectares. Although we eventually lost our whole 2009 vintage (because of smoke taint) we consider ourselves one of the very lucky ones.
In the aftermath we were very heartened by the outpouring of concern and support that reached us, not just from those close to us but from all over the globe. The messages that came through at that time were very supportive and many were wanting to help in some way, whether it was emotionally, financially or physically. You cannot imagine how those messages helped buoy many in our community.
At that time, I received a call from Ross Brown from Brown Brothers who had an idea. A bloody brilliant idea! He approached Tesco (UK) to do a joint promotion with Brown Brothers and De Bortoli to raise money for the Bushfire Appeal. Tesco organised a special Bushfire support promotion, with each company contributing to the Bushfire Appeal.
Fast forward two years and I am most delighted to say that the project has finally come to fruition with the Official opening held on Sunday 18th December, just before Christmas. What a day it was! The park was packed with families, locals and visitors alike; picnic rugs everywhere and every piece of playground equipment was crawling with happy children.
I give my heartfelt thanks to Ross Brown and the rest of the Brown Brothers family and team. I give my thanks to Tesco Supermarkets in the UK for supporting this initiative and my thanks also go to all the other organisations who contributed to the playground.
It is worth it to see the smiles on the kids faces.
Leanne De Bortoli
Very excited about this upcoming event on Friday March 2nd. Part of the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, there will be a three course meal made from seasonal and regional produce and each course will be matched with local wines. Visit http://yarravalleyharvest.com.au for more details.
Try a twist on your normal bruschetta with this delicious recipe (Youtube) As a girl my brothers and I used to fish for yabbies but I don’t remember eating them like this.
It probably comes as no surprise that I love Pinot Noir, after all we are surrounded by it. At the moment I’m enjoying our 2010 Estate Grown Pinot Noir. I love nothing better then sitting out on our back deck after a long day at the winery with a glass of wine in hand and letting the day wash over me.