It began with me. I was born from the author's enduring dream to one day write a book. Inspired by life in the wine industry in Margaret River, the setting was obvious, but what to name the winery central to the drama? The name had to resonate with the storyteller and reader alike through a strong sense of place. It needed to be epic, referencing the ocean, the landscape or the starry sky, majestic to behold in this part of the world. Beneath The Kite alludes to the Southern Cross constellation. Whether you live close to the ocean or some distance away, surrounded by forest or pastoral land, the Southern Cross sparkles above. The author knew it as 'the kite' and believed all Australians knew it that way. She was wrong. Still people have popped with interest and enthusiasm when the reference is explained, enjoying the name. Next, a project wine variety. Perhaps a varietal at home in the region serving the greater good—Margaret River’s luscious cabernets. Varietal malbec wines had just begun appearing on the scene and malbec and cabernet have history in Margaret River, blended together to form some of the region’s earliest commercial wines. Dark and delicious with nuances of intrigue, malbec was the obvious choice.
CRUSH - The Novel
My existence may have tenuous links to a work of fiction, but once my creator explored my potential, I was never going to be denied. Winemakers know what varietals have to offer. When they harvest batches of petit verdot, merlot, viognier, malbec or any other varieties that may be included in a commercial blend, they keep them separate and develop an appreciation of what makes them sing. Most wine enthusiasts don’t have access to these oak barrels tucked away in winery cellars, so purchasing varietal wines is their only opportunity to explore. Having produced seven vintages of small batch zinfandel (Zinful), the author and the winemaker were ready to tackle something new. Picking the winemaker’s brains for possibilities for the book, malbec appeared, appealing to them both. While the author wrote about it, the winemaker took a more practical approach. The winemaker explored malbec vineyards and finally found an interesting parcel of fruit on a vineyard owned by a winemaker colleague. In 2016 he purchased the first grapes and Beneath The Kite malbec stepped out of fiction to become a reality.