“There is no better way of life in the world than that of the Australian. I firmly believe this. The grumbling, growling, cursing, profane, laughing, beer drinking, abusive, loyal-to-his-mates Australian is one of the few free men left on this earth. He fears no one, crawls to no one, bludges on no one, and acknowledges no master. Learn his way. Learn his language. Get yourself accepted as one of him; and you will enter a world that you never dreamed existed. And once you have entered it, you will never leave it.”
Nino Culotta – They’re a weird mob, 1957
In the Shiraz Republic the rules of social etiquette are a little different from other nations around the world. The rules do not relate to how a fork should be held, or who should be served first at a dinner table. Instead, most of the Shiraz Republic’s rules relate to expressing equality. Basically, as long as you appreciate that in the Shiraz Republic, everyone is treated as equal irrespective of their social, racial background or how many grapes they are buying, anything goes.
The relaxed attitude of the Shiraz Republic has been known to cause problems. Just because we are often easygoing with the paperwork, doesn’t mean we don’t take offence when people order grapes but then fail to follow through.
You see, the Shiraz Republic isn’t like a shop where you can come in, browse around, say you want some grapes, then walk away and forget you placed an order.
Our grapes don’t lay around waiting for a buyer. You won’t find grapes laying around waiting to be sold. We pick your order – to order. A key ingredient in making good wine is fresh grapes. We pick them because we are going to deliver them, as soon as possible.
At the Shiraz Republic we know that’s not how the rest of the world operates. You may have bought grapes from the back of a truck or from a market. They have been picked sometime before, trucked down to Melbourne on spec, and will sit there until they are sold.
They might be cheaper, but don’t expect to make good wine from them. As one first time customer said,“A quick email to say I bought from you a small batch 50kg of shiraz grapes to experiment. Well I have just bottled it and its GOLD!
I am very happy with the result, as previous years I have not succeeded (bought grapes from the back of a truck). I will be coming near your area this weekend, and I would like to meet you and bring you a bottle to sample.”
In short, we expect the people of the Shiraz Republic to behave as follows:
1. Make yourself known (”G’day how ya goin’?)
2. You tell me what you want. (Provided it’s Shiraz)
a. How much (kilograms/tonnes)
c. When (roughly, the weather and the vines make the rules)
d. Any special requests (Baume’, clone)
e. Your contact details
3. We agree.
4. We keep our word
5. You keep yours
6. We test the grapes each week. (and inform you via this website)
7. We tell you when they will be delivered. (We know most people want them on the weekend and we try to accommodate, but we try to give you a week’s notice.)
8. All hell breaks loose as we get the crew together to pick, pack and transport
9. Tony our intrepid driver delivers to you. (Make sure someone is around to help him unload)
10. You pay on delivery or organise a bank transfer ahead of delivery (Cash preferred, but cheques OK)
11. You make good wine (don’t be afraid to get it tested. The wine supplies shop is your friend!)
12. Keep in touch (Register with The Shiraz Republic, follow us on twitter, facebook etc.)
We invite you the people to pick and collect your own grapes. “Ask not what your grapes can do for you – ask what you can do for your grapes”. Bringing family and friends out to pick grapes can be an enjoyable experience for all! (Also, see Rent-A-Row)
Displays of wine snobbery may be seen as signs of superiority and frowned upon accordingly. We in the Shiraz Republic treat each other as equals, no matter the quantity of grapes that you purchase or the scale of your wine making.