May 15, 2009

Heart of Weirdness

April, I'll tell you when it's May.

As we moved further into the remote, upper reaches of the river, even the birds seemed to taunt us with the name.


A great sparkling wine. Or just the hallucinatory dream of one. We'd been on the river too long to know the difference. Chinskirin hadn't spoken for days. He just sat on the bow of the boat, mumbling to himself.

Until he sat up pointing, face flushed, eyes wide and wild. I followed his point. There it was. We had made it.


The site of one of Tasmania's oldest (modern) vineyards, planted in 1958, by an Italian textile merchant, it is now owned by David Walsh. If ever you dreamed of your own private Kurtz, the dream would be of David Walsh.

Walsh is enigmatic and outrageous. His extensive wealth was amassed through gambling schemes that left him banned from casinos all over the globe. He's building a museum for his collection of radical and controversial art. He makes his own beer. His winemaker, Conor van der Reest, is converting the vineyards to organics and bio-dynamics. I'm just waiting for him to shave his head and stack on 20 kilos.

But what of our quest?

We are so close. But Chinskirin has stripped nude and is dancing through the vines. Notes up as soon as he is recaptured and sedated.

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