Australia, We Saluté You

leanne / January 23rd, 2012

“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.

When my daughters were younger, a Cambodian family moved into the Yarra Valley with the children attending Dixons Creek Primary School. The local school children were taught a few words in Khmer in anticipation of the new arrivals and there was much excitement when they finally came along to our little school.

When the eldest of this family celebrated her birthday party, pretty much most of the local kids were there. Mixed in amongst the hot chips with tomato sauce and other ‘strine delights were scrumptious home-made spring rolls, fried rice and other delicious Cambodian dishes. Her mother was clearly trying to ensure she had all bases covered. Just trying to fit in. The local kids tucked into the hot chips (as they do) but I was delighted to see them wolfing down just as many Spring rolls as well (they were so good).

These Cambodian children, who could barely speak a word of English when they arrived have gone onto university and done very well for themselves. Australia, still the land of opportunity. “We’ve golden soil and wealth for toil…”

Australia Day, for however contentious its origins, is an important day of celebration for the many different nationalities who now call this country home. Whether you are an illiterate Italian who arrived here in the early 1920’s and set up a small family wine company (my grandfather) or the Cambodian child who arrived here in the early 1990’s and has gone on to become a doctor. It wasn’t easy for them                           but they had faith in their new country and were prepared to work hard.

So whatever your reason to celebrate this Thursday 26th January, do so by opening a bottle of your favourite Australian wine, or even better, try something new and Aussie. Behind every bottle of Australian wine is an interesting story, backed by good solid people (and the occasional larrikin) who work hard to make their living from the land.

“…In joyful strains then let us sing…”

Cheers, Cin cin, Santé, Prost, Kanpai….


Follow me on twitter.com/DeBortoliWines (and if you tweet about any great Aussie wine you’ve had use the hashtag #AustraliaDay and #AusWine) or visit us on debortoli.com.au

6 thoughts on “Australia, We Saluté You

  1. Well said. Although the Larrikin reference did immediately make me think of one David Franz Lehmann.

    This immigrant will most certainly be drinking Aussie…just got to find a region I haven’t tried before.

  2. Hi Leanne,
    Well written and very true. We do have so much in this country to appreciate.
    I have sent your link to many of my family members I am sure they will appreciate it Thanks for taking the time to make us think about what Aus is really about.

  3. wow, how happy am i to see your face Leanne. I was conned into some footy competition and came across De Bortoli wines, I said I wonder if that will have anything to do with Leanne the girl i went to school with back at Mt Erin High. Leigh hurley did tell me you had a magnificent set up in The yarra valley.
    Those yabbies, how good do they look, we used to have a fish farm and the only thing we could grow was the yabbies, thousands of them, and they are best eaten down by the river with an orange sun setting in the background and bottle of crisp white debortoli wine, what do you think?
    so nice to see your face, you havent changed a bit,I will ring Leigh and tell her we have to meet up at the yarra valley and hopefully get to see you at some stage.

    Best wishes and well done Donna Salmon, now Peters

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