Dru Reschke, Author at Koonara Wines
6 happiness habits – that take 5 minutes

6 happiness habits – that take 5 minutes

Now is a great time to reflect on the past year, and man what a year that was. January is a great time to reflect and think about what it is you want to change. While I don’t personally advocate for new years resolutions as such, I am a fan of creating new habits. Here are some simple and easy ways to make small but powerful changes to your everyday life in 2021. While i’m not promising instant happiness, these are some great habits that will help to create a greater sense of happiness over time.

One: Pranayama breathing

Breath in for 4 seconds, hold it for 4, breath out for 5. This stops your cortisol production, which causes your flight or flight stress response. When you’re in flight or flight, your body shuts down many other non-essential parts of the body until we are far enough away from the sabre-toothed tiger to be safe. That’s why that big breath out at the end of the day is so relaxing. A little more information:

  • Pranayama breathing app – free.
  • Gabrielle Bernstein Podcast – 5 min meditations while breathing to help you focus on particular aspects of happiness: love, letting go, forgiveness, focusing, etc.

Two: Gratefulness

Happy people are not always grateful, but grateful people are always happy.[1] While you do your breathing exercises, breath in all the things you are grateful for, and breath out all the judgement and grudges you are holding onto about other people [2]. This allows you to be more in the moment, you become more curious with people you meet or spend time with, and you will be more liked overall. As Tony Robbins said, “you can’t be grateful and angry at the same time”. [3]

Three: JOMO – The Joy Of Missing Out

(The opposite of FOMO – the fear of missing out)[4].  With all that we went thru in 2020, there was a lot of missing out.  This has definitely created a wave of people who are now comfortable with the JOMO and feeling good about spending time with friends or family or just kicking back to enjoy a good book.  These activities and changes create happiness when there is nothing to compare it too.  By turning off your social media feed for 1 day at a time,  then 2 days, or just by keeping tabs of your time on social media, you can alleviate the pressure that forms as fear of missing out.  There are apps that can block or time your use as well.  Fear of missing out is a form of anxiety, and social media exacerbates this, [5]

Four: Take a good multi-vitamin

So much research is showing fruit and vegetables just don’t have the same nutritional value they did years ago. We need to top up our intake, but many of the multi-vitamins on a shelf don’t have enough of what we need and too much of what we don’t [6]. The best I have found is NOW multi-vitamins on iherb.com (this is not a paid endorsement, just good stuff). They are about 5-10 times stronger than ones being sold in supermarkets, which are so low in V&M they’re barely worth it. They are still a bit low in Magnesium, Zinc, Vitamin C and Niacin (Vitamin B3), so if you need a top-up for optimum happiness take these as well. Just for fun, print off the Now multi-vitamins levels and then take them to the supermarket to compare with other vitamins. This will open your eyes to the other dodgy vitamin companies trying to sell you an expensive bottles of not much!

Five: Help someone

Volunteering has been shown to be an incredibly powerful anti-depressant [7], so look to sign up to volunteer, or help a friend/neighbour with something, as it triggers the brain to give you a shot of the feel-good chemical dopamine. Empowering yourself helps create resilience, and helps prevent helplessness and hopelessness, two key depression problems.

Six: Dig in the dirt

There is a bacteria in healthy soil called Mycobacterium vaccae that boosts serotonin levels in the brain similar to the levels of antidepressants, improving your mood, reducing anxiety and it boosting cognition [8]. You need to get your hands dirty every 3 weeks to keep them in your body.[9]Also, have you met an unhappy gardener? True happiness is an abundant garden. Why not check out 20 ways to detox your body and mind

References:

  1. TED Talk – Brother David Steindl-Rast: Want to be happy? Be grateful. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtBsl3j0YRQ
  2. https://blog.bulletproof.com/detox-your-thoughts-to-supercharge-your-life-gabrielle-bernstein-455/
  3. Tim Ferris Podcast #186: Tony Robins. “You can’t be grateful and angry at the same time.”
  4. Trello article on JOMO; https://bit.ly/2C5KFbC
  5. Christina Crook; The Joy of Missing Out http://www.christinacrook.com/jomo/
  6. http://www.doctoryourself.com/saulslurry.html
  7. https://blog.bulletproof.com/social-activism-health-benefits/
  8. https://blog.bulletproof.com/talking-dirty-spiritual-plants-microbial-biodiversity-426/
  9. https://www.colorado.edu/today/2017/01/05/study-linking-beneficial-bacteria-mental-health-makes-top-10-list-brain-research

Image: Priscilla Du Preez @priscilladupreez

Let support boobs. No boys, not like that.

Let support boobs. No boys, not like that.

It’s National Breast Cancer Day – lets look at where your money goes:

I don’t know about you, but I work pretty hard for my pay. When I spend money in our business, I look carefully to make sure we can get the best return on investment possible. And likewise, when I donate to a charity, I want to know that they are treating my charity money with the same care that I do in my business.

This week is National Breast Cancer week. The Cancer Council raises $11m a year. Advertising – or telling us about cancer – was $6.58 million . Compensation to directors and key management was $972,580 .

Money given back to research? $504,000.

Don’t get me wrong, their hearts in the right place, but, like my business, I want return on my investment.

Here are some amazing Breast Cancer research labs, where 100% of the money goes back to research:

https://health.adelaide.edu.au/medicine/drmcrl/donate/

ps://health.adelaide.edu.au/medicine/drmcrl/donate/

https://www.garvan.org.au/about-us/about-the-garvan-institute/

https://www.garvan.org.au/about-us/about-the-garvan-institute/

https://www.westmeadinstitute.org.au/research/research-divisions/cancer/breast-cancer-group/overview

https://www.westmeadinstitute.org.au/research/research-divisions/cancer/breast-cancer-group/overview

9 top tips on Cellaring wine

9 top tips on Cellaring wine

My wife Nicole hates how much wine we have cluttering up the house, and as much as I feel her pain, I can’t help it, because I’ve tasted how great an aged wine can be. Fine – I can help it, but I’m choosing to soothe her with back rubs rather than stop collecting. These are my hot tips.

First (non-official) tip is don’t leave the boxes around where the wife will trip up on them. This one is very important. It probably should come under “tips for a happy marriage”, or “7 good ideas to stop your wife from wanting to kill you.”

  1. Keep it cool and at a constant temperature
    Wines die in hot cars – you can cook a wine pretty quickly before you even get it in the cellar by leaving it in your 30 degree car while you go shopping. Anaerobic reactions in the wine slow down with temperature, to pretty much not doing anything under 10 degrees. This means it’s not aging at a rate that will make a lot of difference in 5 years. Which is great if your 18, won the lottery and are building a huge cellar, not so great for those of us who don’t buy green bananas. 14-18 degrees is ideal, if your cellar is 21 degrees average (i.e it’s lying around your house), I would start drinking them at 5-8 years. If you can’t get them below 25 degrees (I’m looking at you Queensland) buy a wine fridge. Don’t put them in the cupboard above your oven, or near anything that vibrates (like your wife’s beside draw) – it will cook it, or vibrations will make the flavours develop differently (read; it will taste like shite)
  2. Find Cool climate wines for a longer aging potential
    Argue this with me if you want, but I would much rather put a Tasmanian Chardonnay down to age than one from the riverland (sorry Riverland – you have some amazing Fianos and Vermentinos – go try them people). The exceptions are fortifieds and the whites mentioned in the next point. Acid is a great natural preservative; high temperatures can knock out the natural acidity in the grapes, so if they aren’t picked before that happens, porty characteristics can come through the wine when aged. With cooler climates, acids remain because it rarely gets over 35 degrees, allowing flavours and sugars to develop slowly. Cool climate fortifieds can be exceptional too – Di Giorgios fortified Shiraz will age forever.
  3. Whites can cellar too
    There is nothing better in the world than buying a $20 Clare Valley Riesling or Hunter Valley Semillon, and putting it down for 7+ years to be able to wake up a sleeping beauty. These wines with great natural acidity help it age, turning it into a golden explosion of Honey and Lime. What if you don’t like an aged white I hear you ask? Try our aged Riesling – it won’t break the bank, and is one of my favourites ($25). Others to try would be Peter Lehmann Margaret Semillon or Wigg Riesling for great value wines (approx.-$35) with a bit of age. Or a Pewsey Vale Contours Riesling aged release ($31).
  4. Try before you buy
    I find the best way to test if a wine will age is to leave a glass in the bottom for the next night, or better yet, have one glass a night over four nights. If it is still good after 4 or 5 nights, stock up baby. If it’s rubbish the next night, just enjoy it as buy-and-drink wine. Australians are famous for knocking down tall poppies, so more often than not expensive wines actually are worth the money. Crap expensive wines have come and gone, the good ones are still here, so go for a brand that has been around more than 5 minutes.
  5. Fridge it
    If you want to open an aged red wine, but are worried that you won’t finish it, don’t fret – put the remainder in the fridge. It will last for 16 times longer than on your bench. And if you can’t finish a good wine within 2 weeks we probably can’t be friends. Just pour it, and give it 5 minutes to warm up. Queenslanders, drink it from an ice bucket because your weather is ridiculously warm.
  6. Don’t Age it too long
    Winemaker Julian Langworthy from Deep Woods Estate always says “It’s better to drink a wine ten years too early than 1 minute too late.” If you are worried it’s too young, decant it. If you don’t have a decanter, pour a glass, put the lid back on, and lie the bottle on its side. Roll it around on your bench or shake it if your friends are 5 minutes away. Check out my other blog on how long does a Coonawarra Cabernet age.
  7. Keep it in the dark
    UV rays can damage liquids easily, hence why all reds are in dark bottles. And why whites used to be. Thanks to those creative types we now prefer our white wine to look pretty so hence all the clear glass. Bearing this in mind, if you want to age a white wine, keep it in the dark.
  8. Enjoy it
    The best advice about wine I ever received was from our winemaker Peter Douglas. He said “never go looking for faults. Enjoy first what is amazing about the wine.” Good advice for life. Don’t overthink it, and make sure it is just the amplifier for a great night.
  9. Don’t cellar wines with cork
    Professional trials and wine shows are still getting about 12% of wines under cork having cork taint. Cork taint, or Trichloroanisole (TCA) at low levels dull the smell of the wine, and can be hard to spot other than the wine being a bit shit. High levels it will make the wine smell like wet mouse, or mouldy cardboard.
How wineries can help reduce global warming

How wineries can help reduce global warming

We can take the same amount of carbon that 6 million cars emit in a year out of the atmosphere – and it will save wineries hundreds of millions of dollars.

ABC radio rang me last week asking for feedback about a new study about planting different varieties as global warming advances. Margaret River can expect its current mean growing season rainfall to drop from 206mm to 164mm by 2100, and the Hunter destined to become three degrees warmer by 2100[1]

My answer is that if temperatures raise just 1.5 degrees, then planting different varieties is the least of our worries.

The Great Barrier Reef will disappear. Greenhouse gas is twice as high as it has been for the last 800,000 years,[2] and some climate change experts are saying we have less than 12 years to save the planet. [3] [4][5]

So what can wineries do to help save the planet? Well, this is what we do at Koonara to help:

Planting the 5 different types of grasses – grasses, cereals, brassicas, chenopods and legumes. Go mostly legumes, as they put back nitrogen. A seed mix of the perfect ratio can be bought HERE, formulated based on the principles outlined by Graeme Sait from Nutri-tech solutions. This helps the microbiome in the soil explode with life, and these guys hold carbon for 30 years[6]. One grass worth planting is Wallaby grass – Greening Australia pay up to $200 a kg, or $200,000 a tonne for this seed, as it small and has a short shelf-life. Good grasses smother weeds, saving on spraying herbicide.

One note; Bayer, the maker of Round-up (active ingredient Glyphosate) had to pay out $10 Billion recently due to the dangers this chemical causes to our environment[7], so finding alternatives to your weed problem is best, especially as this chemical will kill 80% of your microbiome in the soil (fun fact: Glyphosate is patented as an antibiotic, not a weed killer, which is why it’s so good at killing the good bugs). At Koonara we like most weeds, especially if they flower. Flowers bring in the hunter bugs, so we don’t need to spray even organic pesticides). Flowers under the dripper use a little bit of water in summer, but they stay flowering for a food source for good bugs, keeping the ecosystem in balance.

Bottom line: reducing Glyphosate will increase carbon in the soil, because the microbiome in the soil hold carbon so well. Kill them, you stop the plant getting fed, and you lose carbon.

All these grasses and flowers feed 40% of the carbon they capture to feed the microbiome in the soil, in exchange for the microbiome breaking down minerals for the plant to use.

If I place paper over one acre, this would equal a tonne, so putting back 1 tonne of carbon is do-able. The best part is 3% of organic material to the soil will hold the equivalent of an Olympic sized swimming pool per Hectare, so will save on watering. Plus grass reduces evaporation and keeps the vineyard cool.

1% of organic carbon (in the form of humus) back in the soil will put 45 tonnes of carbon back into the soil per hectare. That’s the equivalent of removing 165 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere per hectare.

Bottom line: If all 170,00 hectare of Vineyard in Australia did this, it would take the equivalent of 4.5 million cars off the road every year*. The cost savings we get from less spraying is well over $988 a hectare, saving wineries $168m a year.

If every farm in the world added 1% carbon, it would remove the trillion extra tonnes of CO2 that we have put in the atmosphere in the last 100 years, and literally reverse global warming (10).

*Carbon = 37% of CO2( [8])
121 tonnes of CO2 x 170,000 ha = 20 million tonnes of CO2

Every Car uses 4.6 tonnes on average**

20,570,000 tonnes of CO2/ 4.6 per car = 4,490,217 cars off the road.

 

4.5 million cars worth of carbon taken from the sky.

**A typical passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. This assumes the average gasoline vehicle on the road today has a fuel economy of about 22.0 miles per gallon and drives around 11,500 miles per year[9]

Koonara, was the first vineyard to be certified organic in Coonawarra, read more.

References:

[1] https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-06-13/new-climate-atlas-research-shows-climate-change-in-wine-regions/12340430#:~:text=Commissioned%20by%20Wine%20Australia%2C%20the,the%20country’s%2071%20wine%20regions.

[2] https://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/

[3] https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-48964736

[4] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/08/global-warming-must-not-exceed-15c-warns-landmark-un-report

[5] https://insideclimatenews.org/news/27082019/12-years-climate-change-explained-ipcc-science-solutions

[6] https://blog.nutri-tech.com.au/cover-crop-secrets-1/

[7] https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/24/business/roundup-settlement-lawsuits.html

[8] https://www.energuide.be/en/questions-answers/what-exactly-is-a-tonne-of-co2/2141/

[9] https://www.epa.gov/greenvehicles/greenhouse-gas-emissions-typical-passenger-vehicle#:~:text=A%20typical%20passenger%20vehicle%20emits%20about%204.6%20metric%20tons%20of,around%2011%2C500%20miles%20per%20year.

We can take the same amount of carbon that 6 million cars emit in a year out of the atmosphere – and it will save wineries hundreds of millions of dollars.

ABC radio rang me last week asking for feedback about a new study about planting different varieties as global warming advances. Margaret River can expect its current mean growing season rainfall to drop from 206mm to 164mm by 2100, and the Hunter destined to become three degrees warmer by 2100[1]

My answer is that if temperatures raise just 1.5 degrees, then planting different varieties is the least of our worries.

The Great Barrier Reef will disappear. Greenhouse gas is twice as high as it has been for the last 800,000 years,[2] and some climate change experts are saying we have less than 12 years to save the planet. [3] [4][5]

So what can wineries do to help save the planet? Well, this is what we do at Koonara to help:

Planting the 5 different types of grasses – grasses, cereals, brassicas, chenopods and legumes. Go mostly legumes, as they put back nitrogen. A seed mix of the perfect ratio can be bought HERE, formulated based on the principles outlined by Graeme Sait from Nutri-tech solutions. This helps the microbiome in the soil explode with life, and these guys hold carbon for 30 years[6]. One grass worth planting is Wallaby grass – Greening Australia pay up to $200 a kg, or $200,000 a tonne for this seed, as it small and has a short shelf-life. Good grasses smother weeds, saving on spraying herbicide.

One note; Bayer, the maker of Round-up (active ingredient Glyphosate) had to pay out $10 Billion recently due to the dangers this chemical causes to our environment[7], so finding alternatives to your weed problem is best, especially as this chemical will kill 80% of your microbiome in the soil (fun fact: Glyphosate is patented as an antibiotic, not a weed killer, which is why it’s so good at killing the good bugs). At Koonara we like most weeds, especially if they flower. Flowers bring in the hunter bugs, so we don’t need to spray even organic pesticides). Flowers under the dripper use a little bit of water in summer, but they stay flowering for a food source for good bugs, keeping the ecosystem in balance.

Bottom line: reducing Glyphosate will increase carbon in the soil, because the microbiome in the soil hold carbon so well. Kill them, you stop the plant getting fed, and you lose carbon.

All these grasses and flowers feed 40% of the carbon they capture to feed the microbiome in the soil, in exchange for the microbiome breaking down minerals for the plant to use.

If I place paper over one acre, this would equal a tonne, so putting back 1 tonne of carbon is do-able. The best part is 3% of organic material to the soil will hold the equivalent of an Olympic sized swimming pool per Hectare, so will save on watering. Plus grass reduces evaporation and keeps the vineyard cool.

1% of organic carbon (in the form of humus) back in the soil will put 45 tonnes of carbon back into the soil per hectare. That’s the equivalent of removing 165 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere per hectare.

Bottom line: If all 170,00 hectare of Vineyard in Australia did this, it would take the equivalent of 4.5 million cars off the road every year*. The cost savings we get from less spraying is well over $988 a hectare, saving wineries $168m a year.

If every farm in the world added 1% carbon, it would remove the trillion extra tonnes of CO2 that we have put in the atmosphere in the last 100 years, and literally reverse global warming [10].

*Carbon = 37% of CO2( [8])
121 tonnes of CO2 x 170,000 ha = 20 million tonnes of CO2

Every Car uses 4.6 tonnes on average**

20,570,000 tonnes of CO2/ 4.6 per car = 4,490,217 cars off the road.

 

4.5 million cars worth of carbon taken from the sky.

**A typical passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. This assumes the average gasoline vehicle on the road today has a fuel economy of about 22.0 miles per gallon and drives around 11,500 miles per year[9]

Koonara, was the first vineyard to be certified organic in Coonawarra, read more.

References:

[1] https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-06-13/new-climate-atlas-research-shows-climate-change-in-wine-regions/12340430#:~:text=Commissioned%20by%20Wine%20Australia%2C%20the,the%20country’s%2071%20wine%20regions.

[2] https://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/

[3] https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-48964736

[4] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/08/global-warming-must-not-exceed-15c-warns-landmark-un-report

[5] https://insideclimatenews.org/news/27082019/12-years-climate-change-explained-ipcc-science-solutions

[6] https://blog.nutri-tech.com.au/cover-crop-secrets-1/

[7] https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/24/business/roundup-settlement-lawsuits.html

[8] https://www.energuide.be/en/questions-answers/what-exactly-is-a-tonne-of-co2/2141/

[9] https://www.epa.gov/greenvehicles/greenhouse-gas-emissions-typical-passenger-vehicle#:~:text=A%20typical%20passenger%20vehicle%20emits%20about%204.6%20metric%20tons%20of,around%2011%2C500%20miles%20per%20year.

[10] https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/07/agriculture-climate-change-solution/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/06/12/new-plan-remove-trillion-tons-carbon-dioxide-atmosphere-bury-it/

Demetrio and the Snake

Demetrio and the Snake

We lost one of the good ones this week (29th May, 2020). Demetrio Zema was part of the Coonawarra fabric, a great man, a great father, and a man who you always knew what he was thinking, because he’ll tell you. Demetrio loved duck shooting. He was an exceptional friend of my Dad Trevor, and they would often go duck shooting or hunting quail in the long Phalaris grass of the Coonawarra Plains.

It was also known that Demetrio was petrified of snakes. One day when he was coming back from quail shooting, he saw a snake in the middle of the road. Being so scared of them, he slammed on the breaks in the middle of the road, jumped out of his tiny Suzuki with his shotgun at the ready and promptly fired twice at the snake – missing both times. His hunting dog – trained to retrieve anything he shoots – promptly jumped out of the car, picked up the snake, and brought it back to Demetrio. Demet, of course, was yelling at the dog, who thought it was in trouble, so jumped into the back of the car – still with the snake in its mouth. Now Demetrio really lost his mind. The dog – being yelled at even louder now – didn’t know what to do, so dropped the snake in the car and jumped out. The snake (no doubt as scared as Demet) slid under the driver’s seat. So there was Demetrio, his tiny white Suzuki with all the doors open in the middle of the road, trying to flush a snake out of his car. Eventually, the snake slipped out of the car unharmed, and Demet shaken from the ordeal, drove about 10km an hour to our house to tell Dad the story. Being so shaken, Dad couldn’t understand what he was talking about, because he kept reverting back into Italian. It took three goes to tell the story, which made Trev cry-laugh for an hour. Demetrio did not see the humour in it. “Not bladda funny – not bladda funny” he kept repeating.

Originally a House painter in Penola – Dad’s nickname for him was “Mr Brush” (“Mr Bladda Resh” Demet would greet Dad. “Hello Mr Brush!” he’d say back). Demetrio dreamt of being able to afford a small block of land to plant grapes. Finally, he and his wife Franchesca (the greatest pasta maker in the world) bought their first small block alongside the highway in the early 1980’s, where Zema Estate now resides. Winemaker Sue Bell tells the story of her first visit to Zema Estate, with some of her winemaking friends. A couple of them asked for a spittoon, to which Demetrio replied (with thick Italian accent); “Your blooda spit my wine out, you can get out.” He turned to Sue, who quickly replied “No no, we will definitely be drinking your wine – it’s delicious.” Woe betide any tire kicker tourist that had plans on tasting without buying when Demetrio was in the tasting room. They often copped an earful. He had a passion for the industry, and was immensely proud of his wines.

My favourite story about Demetrio was when he rang Dad to help him clear out his makeshift cellar – a car pit full of long necks of wine. His first trial white wine vintage – of what I assume was Riesling – was bottled with a crown seal in longneck beer bottles. As they were loading them into the back of the Ute, Trev said to Demetrio he should try one. “No, they’ll be no bladda good.” said Demetrio. “No, I think we should try one,” said Dad, so they popped the cap on a bottle, and they poured themselves a glass each. Demetrio took one taste of it, looked at the wine in amazement, turned to Dad and pointing to the hole in the ground. “Right – all da bottles back in the pit; back in the pit.” Age-worthy wines from the very first vintage.

Deb Redman also tells the story of Demitrio giving a ribbing to a forever-single Mal Redman every time he would see him at the Coonawarra Club. “You stilla feeda da chooks Mal?” he would say with a smirk (for those not familiar with the term, mime being a male and hand-feeding chooks at waist height – you’ll get it). When Deb came on the scene, Demet was still using the line on him until finally one day Deb said: “Demet, stop asking Mal that – I feed his chooks now.” Demet had tears of laughter for a full 5 minutes.

Demetrio summed up everything beautiful about this country. An immigrant warmly welcomed into the region, and welcomed into the Coonawarra winemaking circle, he created a beautiful dream from nothing for his family. Funny, brutally honest, and generous, he helped make Koonara’s first vintages from 1992 to 1997.

 

Mr Brush, you will be missed.

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