Rent-A-Row – Frequently Asked Questions

What would happen if there was major damage to this year’s planting? e.g. Frost, Flood, Fire etc

Whenever you are dealing with nature (or anything for that matter) there is always risk and risk management is a key consideration for us in running The Shiraz Republic. We have been making wine from our own grapes since 2005 and have during that time been through events like you have described: flood, mildew, fire, frost and drought.

  • In 2009 at the height of the Millennium drought when water was expensive and scarce we were able to access secure water through the pipeline which serves our property.

o   RISK STRATEGY – Vineyard is served by micro-drip irrigation. We have access to secure water through the Colbinabbin-Cornell Pipeline.

  • In 2009 and 2014 when there were large bushfire events in southern Victoria, the threat of smoke damage failed to materialise.

o   RISK STRATEGY – As a safeguard we did have our grapes scientifically analysed for smoke taint just in case. The wasn’t any.

  • In 2010 we had severe frost in the district – we suffered minor losses and made wine and supplied grapes to all our customers.

o   RISK STRATEGY – Ensure that wheat and canola crops are short stem varieties to allow cold air to flow away from the vineyard.

  • In 2013 we had a grassfire that started on a neighbour’s property and burnt half our vineyard. While we lost half the crop we reduced our own winemaking to ensure that customers received their grapes.

o   RISK STRATEGY – Major upgrade of our own fire-fighting equipment. Fire plan revised. No longer use straw mulch in vineyard.

Finally, our priority is supporting our Rent-A-Row winemakers and ongoing grape customers over all else. So in the event of a grape shortage for any reason, we choose to make less wine ourselves to ensure our customers have a supply of grapes for their winemaking. We have also extended our relationships with other vineyards in the district which give us an alternate source of supply in the event of a localised disaster. We refer to this as the long paddock, but the point is we will make sure you’re able to make an excellent Shiraz wine with us.

Am I required to fulfil all stages? Can someone from The Shiraz Republic do it on our behalf and we take the glory?

You don’t have to attend all the activities associated with the winemaking. Even if you wanted to see how the pruning is done, you are welcome to just come up (drink some wine) watch and we will take care of the rest. The same is true for just about everything else as well. We will let you know when things are happening and if you can’t get there we’ll fill the gaps. The picking and the crush day is the BIG day, so you should make sure you can be at this. We usually have 4 – 8 picking/crushing days (Saturdays and Sundays) so there is some flexibility there as there is for most of the other activities. As always, we keep you updated as we head to each stage and of course, the glory remains all yours!

How much work is involved? What is the time commitment for each stage?

Can I make my own wine label? Are there any extra costs for bottling & labelling?

The cost of the package is all inclusive for you to take you through to bottling your wine. So bottles, corks, the use of bottling equipment and labels are all included in the price. We don’t have any additional costs if you can’t make it for any stage, but obviously it’s more fun if you can participate in all 5 stages.

Our labels are done in house and the template is sent to you as we approach the bottling stage for you to design and craft your own blurb. The labels are a simple, matte effect but come up nicely. You are welcome to design & print your own label at your own cost, and we can help you with this process to make sure your label is compatible with our labelling equipment.


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