Intimate Food, Wine and Music at Rosnay
Time: Sunday 15 October 2017, 5.00pm. Limited seats. Tickets $90, includes wine, dinner and entertainment. This event is included in Gold and Platinum passes.
The Muffat Collective
Featuring four elite graduates from The Royal Conservatoire of The Hague, The Netherlands, The Muffat Collective are a unique group of period instrument specialists, bound by their use of rare baroque instruments and dedication to the historically informed practises of 17th and 18th century chamber music. Having recently returned from The Netherlands, they make Australia their home once more, bringing with them the leading practises and expertise from the most dynamic orchestras and ensemble of central Europe.
The Collective provide a genuine and moving experience in concerts by sharing with you incredibly rare and often newly discovered works by forgotten masters; music that is full of vitality, energy and emotions that speak to us now, as much as they did in the past.
A well-known character in the area, Tommy Jeffs originally grew up in nearby Cowra where his family have long been involved in the hospitality industry. Tommy has led a colourful 40-year career in the fashion, entertainment and hospitality industries. Tommy received an award for the “Best Entertainment Restaurant in Australia” and a “Best Seafood” award during his time in Port Macquarie at Tommy’s by The Sea. On returning to the Central West and taking over the Imperial Hotel, Tommy consistently featured in the “Good Food Guide” placing third one year.
Tommy then moved to Canowindra for a change of pace to take over The Deli Lama – a popular eatery in the main before creating Montrose House, the unique B&B and dining venue which has been a labour of love to create a unique place for visitors and locals to celebrate special occasions – including the launch event of Baroquefest 2017. Tommy’s generous nature has seen him involved with fundraising throughout his life. Every community he has been involved in has benefited from his ability to raise considerable amounts of money for youth, the arts, health and cancer projects.
“This will be a guaranteed memorable event!” said Tommy Jeffs.
The inaugural Baroquefest, Canowindra’s annual three day festival of baroque music was held in October 2015. Canowindra has become a regional hub for live classical music performance since the 1990s when David Miller AM from Sydney Conservatorium of Music first agreed to bring a group of talented students to play and sing at the acoustically sublime All Saints Church.
What grew to become the Con’s week long “Grand Western Tour” still continues after twenty years. Since Baroquefest’s inception and formation of Canowindra Fine Music Inc., the aim has been to bring together highly accomplished musicians from central west NSW, with other professionals and ensembles from Australia and elsewhere. A big ambition for a small town but it is the rural setting and the prevailing community spirit that creates a uniquely intimate baroque experience. Every concert is introduced by our elegant and articulate patron Marian Arnold, a long term producer and presenter on ABC Classic FM.
Flickerfest returns to Canowindra in April with another memorable screening to be held at the Rosnay Cellar door on Saturday 8 April. Doors open at 6pm for canapes and sparkling, to be followed by three set of short film interspersed with a dinner featuring regional produce and wine from the property.
Tickets are $60 per person, including a wine with each course, and the Cellar Door open until 10pm. No BYO, max 40 persons.
The short film genres are mixed, and all curated from the Best of Australian Short Films from this years main Flickerfest festival.
The evening schedule is as follows:
- 6pm: Arrival Sparkling Rose with Rosnay Olive and fig tastings
First Course Rosnay 2016 Semillon (New Release) with Thai Chilli Chicken Broth
- 7pm: First Film Segment, 30 mins
Second Course Rosnay 2016 Freedom Red with Slow Cook lamb Salad featuring Rosnay figs
- 8pm: Second Film Segment, 30 mins
Third Course Rosnay 2008 Triple Blend (Cellar Reserve) with Lamb meat balls, cous cous and Rosnay olive jus
- 9pm: Third Film Segment, 30 mins
Final Course Rosnay 2013 Late Harvest Semillon with home made chocolate muffins
- 10pm: Coffee from Delice Coffee Canowindra
The evening is small and intimate, with a maximum of 40 persons, to give it the feeling of being at home watching great Australian short films with great local food and wine, but without the hassle.
The Statham family are teaming up with their neighbours and mates Andrew Wooldridge and Margie Crowther who run organic lambs on the property to be guest chefs and speak to the audience about the meals.
The evening features the first public tasting of the new 2016 Semillon, and the first public tasting in many years of the reserve 2008 Triple Blend – probably the best of the Rosnay Triple Blends.
Rosnay has been exclusive Wine Sponsor and a screening partner for Flickerfest since 2009.
For the first time it looks like we may get a big enough Christmas crop that the birds dont get them all!
The biggest problem we have out here at Canowindra, is getting the figs to market fresh and cold, and fully ripened. As we love eating fresh figs ourselves we cant bear to pick them early for extended shelf – its just such a waste of all that potential deliciousness! There are refrigerated trucks going from Orange to Sydney, but we’re an hours drive from Orange.
Maybe the best way for now is if you, if you are local and also a lover of figs, were to place an advance order or expression of interest for a tray of figs, before harvest is upon us, and then we can do our best to get them directly to you. Who knows, we might have a tray of figs at your door at Christmas!
At this stage, we’ll focus on the local area of Canowindra and Cowra, but if you’re from Orange, Bathurst or even Sydney we can still try to get some to you – we just have to figure out how when the time comes.
They’re about a dollar per fig, depending on the grade and size…To let us know you are interested, just send us an email
Selector Magazine* has included Rosnay 2009 Shiraz in their list of the 20 Best Organic Wines in Australia, with the following tasting notes:
Youthful medium ruby red in colour, this organic Shiraz offers aromas of ripe black fruits with fresh red cherry lift and prune-like depth. The ripe and soft palate features juicy red fruits in a supple, savoury style, with good juicy appeal and a hint of black pepper to finish.
The article, by Newcastle wine writer Daniel Honan (aka, “The Wine Idealist“), sums up the background and challenges of organic wine growing across many wine regions of Australia, from McLaren Vale to the Hunter Valley, and including Cowra’s largest organic wine producer, Windowrie Estate.
Talking about how all wine used to be organic “back in the day”, Daniel sums up the modern farming world well:
“All that changed after the Second World War when the scientific boffins who had developed particular products to use in explosives and chemical warfare, by manipulating molecules and rearranging atoms, also discovered that some of these new synthetic chemicals were sometimes less lethal to humans, yet still just as lethal to insects. And so, the agrochemical industry was born.”
*Selector is Australia’s highest circulating wine and food magazine.
MEDIA RELEASE June 30, 2016
NASAA Ltd Certified Organic ‘Wine of the Year’ Australia 2016
Australia’s Organic Wine of the Year 2016 is Rosnay Organic Wines ‘Garage No.1’ Cowra Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, the first wine made personally by Sam Statham.
In conjunction with Winestate Magazine, NASAA (The National Association for Sustainable Agriculture, Australia), only certified Australian organic wines were judged for this prestigious award, using a fully managed professional tasting process and panel.
This third annual NASAA & Winestate organic wine judging was open only to wines grown and produced in Australia that are certified by a Department of Agriculture Accredited Certification Body such as ‘NASAA Certified Organic’ an organisation that is partnering with Winestate Publishing to promote Australia’s organic wines to the world.
Organic wines means that the wines have been made from grapes that are grown without the use of any “artificial chemicals” such as systemic fungicides, herbicides and synthetic fertilisers.
The overall winner, Rosnay Organic Wines, is based in Canowindra, a small town between Cowra and Orange in the NSW Central Ranges. It was the first organic and biodynamic vineyard of the Cowra Wine Region, planted by the Statham family as part a unique certified organic rural farming subdivision, now known as Rivers Road Organic Farms.
The Stathams are dedicated to the principles of organics and sustainable living and are proving that organic wines can hold their own in the wine world, winning a number of medals and trophies in recent years. They established the property as an organic property and winery in 1997, naming it after a maternal French ancestor Alberic Dulong de Rosnay, a Beaujolais vigneron. It is a diverse family farm enterprise, which spans production, processing and tourism.
“Rosnay – the farm and the idea – encompasses all of my passions – family, eco-living, community, self reliance, cooperation, natural farming systems, and an almost spiritual – call it biodynamic – connection with this place,” says Sam Statham.
“My first knowledge of wine I gained in France in 1995 as a result of my Mum, Florence, being French, so I did university in southern France and studied Geography. Part of that course was a subject called ‘Terroir’ – a word I’d never heard in Australia. But in France it’s in the blood. My field assignment was to visit a vineyard, and I had to do a visual report of the interactions of soil, hydrology, climate, microclimate, native vegetation, grape varieties and cultural methods – that result in a site’s unique flavours. I also heard reference to an a mentor I never met, Emile Peynaud, whose book, ‘Knowing and Making Wine’, is my wine making bible today.”
Winemaking for Sam began late – after 15 years growing organic grapes, olives and other crops with his parents. In 2012 he won a trip back to France from the NSW Department of Agriculture – the Inaugural NSW Organic Pioneers Award. It was in this second visit that he decided to stop just “hanging out” with winemakers, but to actually have a go.
“The next vintage, inspired by the organic wines of southern France, and with Peynaud’s book in hand, I made my first wine, and called it Garage Wine Number 1. Two tonnes of Cabernet Sauvignon, hand picked with friends and customers and then a complex process of trial and error over a month, with hand plunging twice daily and then to further lengthy malolactic fermentation.
“The challenge for me is to try and do it again, but I’ll definitely have fun, and hopefully more Statham good luck along the way”.
The judging the process of reviewing 139 wines from five States and the ACT took place at Winestate magazine where all wines were judged blind by a panel of three independent expert wine industry judges.
Judges statement: Winestate Publisher Peter Simic said: “Overall the panel and myself as chairman were very pleased at the number of entries submitted showing that organic wines have now moved beyond the amateur field and are now being supported by professional commercial wine makers.
“This is a major step forward. In fact the quality of the fruit involved in the wines overall was as good if not at a better standard than the average tasting that Winestate would do for general non organic wines. However, whilst the judges acknowledged the value of organic grape growing practices, some work needs to be done on winemaking techniques or practices to lift the standard even further.
“With the ongoing interest in organic products it shows that there is an exciting market for this segment and Winestate is very pleased to be involved in promoting this sector that has great export potential”.
The results were announced tonight at the National Wine Centre, Adelaide.
For Winestate: Peter Simic, 0414 695 232
For NASAA, Mark Anderson, 0407 755 873 / 08 8370 8455
For Rosnay Organic, Sam Statham 0428 667 317
For 24/7 Media Assistance: Mike O’Reilly, 0414 882 505
Winestate Publishing is a powerful independent voice for the Australian winemaker and the industry. It is Australia’s oldest and most respected magazine authority on Australian & NZ wines.
The National Association for Sustainable Agriculture, Australia (NASAA) was formed in 1986 and supports the education of industry and consumers on organic, biodynamic and sustainable agricultural practices. NASAA was Australia’s first organic certifier.
On September 2, 2015, Rosnay Organic was honoured to be presented with one of three Australian Government’s Innovation in Sustainable Farm Practices NSW Landcare Awards. Below is some of the story behind the award…
Background – The Big Change
In 1995 the Statham family made a big change in their lives as farmers, selling their wool property in northern NSW and buying a 140ha irrigated property on the Belubula River near Canowindra, NSW Central West. The farm had been intensively cropped with sheep and wheat for decades, and had organic matter of 0.25% and a pH of 4.5. In 1997-8 they did a detailed soil survey (140 x 2m deep pits), converted the property to organic farming methods, and redesigned the farm as an organic Community Title plan now known as Rivers Road Organic Farms (RROF).
Over the next years they planted thousands of native trees between the farms, 20ha of winegrapes, 10 ha of olives and 0.5ha of figs which are now sold under their “Rosnay” labels. They have used many organic farming techniques, from the Yeomans plow to biodynamics, in the aim of growing the organic mater and life of the dusty, dispersive soils. They grew potatoes, melons, wheat, mustard and lupins and are now part of an amazing group of organic growers cooperating loosely as self reliant growers, sharing irrigation infrastructure and commons planted with natives and now abundant in birds and kangaroos.
The soil organic matter has quadrupled and pH returned to neutral under organic horticulture and time control grazing by one of the RROF neighbour’s certified organic sheep. Weeds are being controlled using a mix of grazing and low impact cultivation tools. RROF’s commonly owned irrigation system uses cutting edge monitoring and control technology from the US (Ranch Systems LLC).
Rosnay is a diverse family farm enterprise which spans production, processing and tourism. Productivity of our crops is on a regional average and in difficult years such as the end of the drought, the vineyards have proven more productive with far less input. In 2012 Richard and Florence Statham’s son Sam won the inaugural NSW DPI’s Organic Pioneers Award.
Innovative farm management practices
At Rosnay we began using a “shotgun” approach to rebuilding soil – applying as much as 10 tonnes per ha of composted feedlot manure to new vineyards, along with lime and basalt dust, rock phosphate, worm juice, microbial brews, and biodynamic preparations. The return of soil friability and crumb structure, microbial life and micro nutrient availability was almost instant, but at a high initial cost. In later years we have relied more on cell grazing, focusing on ground-cover growth and nutrient cycling through sheep to build organic matter. Biodynamics are still used, and less manufactured and transported inputs are used.
Initially we always believed “weeds are there for a reason”, but perennial tussock grasses under the drip systems eventually defied this approach. In the vineyard, our initial complete opposition to under-vine cultivation gave way after a study trip to hot-climate French organic vineyards which clearly had sustainable systems using low impact cultivating methods, and after which we purchased a german “Clemens” weeder which has resulted in healthier vines and reduced irrigation requirements.
Our experience of organic farming has included other difficult lessons in dealing with new pests for which effective organic controls did not exist, such as when lace bugs exploded in numbers in the olives at the end of the drought. The subsequent loss of production led to our largest distributors taking on imported suppliers, but we are now growing through it and will be much more prepared if there is a similar future event. In the same wet year, however, the vineyards outperformed the conventional vineyards in the region, due to fungal resistance.
Our first farm field day was in 2000, and Richard and Sam are both active in regional grower associations. Today the “field days” are coach bus picnics, social events and film nights on the lawn.
Productivity under Organic Management
Under an economic, quantatative analysis, organic farm productivity is lower on average. However the difficult years are when the innate resilience of organic farming systems are obvious. In 2011, Australia literally ran out of vineyard fungicides, conventional, and then organic. According to our suppliers, Australia used as much fungicide in that season as it did in the whole decade before it, when growers who had irrigation had no disease pressure during the drought. And how to close to witholding periods were they used, we wondered. However we had no more infection than normal, with minimal sprays and no system fungicides. An empirical study by phone to some fellow organic grape growers confirmed that we were not the only ones to find that our organic vines were totally resistant to late season fungal infection. In fact the fruit we delivered to the crusher were the cleanest at the winery (Windowrie Estate) and our 2011 vintage reds are as good or better than other “better” years.
Of course this is a positive example. In the same year our olive trees suffered from the wet season. And during the worst drought years yielded much less than conventional vineyards using fertigation whilst we relied on grass and weeds being grazed for nitrogen. However in a world of increasing climate extremes, productivity in difficult years should still be the benchmark for measuring sustainability.
Cooperation with others in sustainable/innovative farming practices.
Rivers Road Organic Farms is an amazing group of organic growers who we are proud to be one of. As a group of like minded growers with divers backgrounds, we are learning from eachother constantly and developing our own farm systems accordingly. Apart from typical strata title type governance, there are no rules in regards growing, other than the adherence to organic farming systems and certification. The result is a rich patchwork of different approaches that allows us to learn more again. At present there are five growers actively living and growing on the property with more planning to relocate permanently in a few years, and we look forward to seeing what will unfold in the next decade.
The Stathams enjoy being part of regional farming bodies, and Sam is currently chair of the Cowra Region Vineyard Association, which despite lower member numbers in recent years, has made the bold claim of having the highest majority of organic farming members of any wine region in Australia – 4 out of 5!
On the ground, we have learnt that some organic, or “deep green” philosophies dont always work, or only work when the system is stable. Sometimes we were still closed minded. For example, weed management, where we have finally realised that the undervine tussock grasses will forever robbing both the soil and the vines of water and nutrients, if they are only mowed and grazed. Once we put in the dollars and effort to control then, the annual “weeds” can come and maybe even improve the soil if they are deep taprooted winter annuals.
Sometimes we have had to engineer new solutions. During the olive lace bug outbreak in 2011, we had to have 100% foliage saturation with Eco Oil (vegetable oil) to get any amount of control, so with the help of a neighbour we had to modify a low profile ochard sprayer with a 4m high mast. By the time it was finished and we used it the damage was done, and now its probably going to sit in the shed until the next drought breaks, but it wasnt expensive, and we will be prepared next time.
On ground challenges are one thing, but where to start on the challenges, especially those we cannot actually affect, such as supermarket dominance of the wine trade, or their preference for imported products? We learnt that we start to have control over the bigger challenges if we work as group. At first, we were individualistic, and after visiting a few existing organic farms and having done our whole farm plan, we thought going organic would be pretty easy. But now we know that there are so many challenges in taking up an organic farming system, under strict standards and annual compliance audits, that it is certainly better to work as a group as we are now. We still do too much ourselves, and love our independence as a small family farm enterprise, but we also learnt that challenges are better faced through the cooperation we have with our neighbours within Rivers Road Organic Farms and beyond with our conventional farming neighbours. Thankyou!