LUXE has teamed up with fragrance maven Lumira in a regular column exploring the nature of scent and the spirit of travel. This month, Lumira chats with Hunter Valley winemaker Peter Windrim about country-living, working to the lunar calendar and why we should all be drinking biodynamic top drops.
Tell us about yourself and your business?
I am a second-generation winemaker and biodynamic farmer at Krinklewood Vineyard in NSW’s Hunter Valley. Before returning to the family farm to live and study winemaking, I worked as an art director for 15 years in Sydney, London and Bombay. I don’t regret any of that work, but over time the biodynamic work my father started on our farm reached out and grabbed me by the tail and dragged me hollering with delight back to the country. I’ve never looked back, and I’ve never been so energised. The future just seems so fertile.
What does an average work day look like for you?
My wife, Nina, and I wake with the birds in the dark, then I generally stand in the front yard for a short while with a cup of tea and watch everything come to life. With biodynamics you often hear people say things like ‘the farm should be one living breathing organism’. This is true, and one of the purest expressions of this is waking with the animals, then heading inside when it gets dark in the evening and they’re all heading to bed. It’s more of a rhythm thing.
My work varies from winemaking activities, to vineyard work, and gardening tasks. All of which are done in accordance with the lunar calendar. We also have a menagerie of livestock to care for including bees, ducks, geese, chickens, pigs, cows and horses. It’s a busy place, and every lifeform adds to the dynamic interplay of the farm.
What sets Krinklewood apart from other vineyards in the area?
Krinklewood is one of only two biodynamic vineyards in the Hunter Valley. We are family owned and run, and we grow our own grapes without any chemicals. It sounds like a fairly obvious or common thing, but the game has been changing and there are so many virtual wine operations out there nowadays. My mum and dad started the business nearly 40 years ago and everything they did they did by ‘feel’, never for what they thought people might ‘want’.
How does scent exist in your work?
My nose is a major instrument in my work. Scent is the beginning, the end, and everything in between. Commonly these scents range from freshly crushed leaves and warming compost to fermenting wine, olive leaves before they throw fruit, or simply the air on a particularly warm or cool morning.
What scent represents a specific time and place for you?
When I was a kid I loved the smell of timber. Timber shavings reminded me of my carpenter father. Also as a kid I spent countless days in the ocean and if ever I’m feeling lost I get myself to the coast and drink in the sea-spray.
What do you love most about your city?
Sydney was my hometown and will always be my hometown, and the thing I love most about it is that my family and friends are there. The icing on the cake is the food and the beaches.Sydney was my hometown and will always be my hometown, and the thing I love most about it is that my family and friends are there. The icing on the cake is the food and the beaches.
Any upcoming travel plans?
I’m actually writing these answers from Mt Cook in New Zealand where I’m on a road trip with my wife Nina who is a travel writer. Such staggering beauty here. After this I’m off to California with my Dad to see a rock festival and explore some of the Yucca National Park. I’m also yearning to go to Israel. What a heady tapestry of life. And it’s where wine was first made after all!
What does your typical weekend look like?
EAT: My weekends in Sydney generally revolve around dining, as in the country we have to prepare three meals per day which can get a little tiring. Three Blue Ducks in Bronte is one of my favourites brunch spots.
PLAY: A weekend in Sydney isn’t complete without a walk along the coast, and we generally start at Clovelly and head south towards Maroubra, stopping off at Wylie’s Baths for a swim.
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