Yes, you will find my art on a multitude of wines at Cargo Road Wines Vineyard in Orange.
The artwork above, titled "The Sheep Shear-hers" by Tanya Loviz, is the chosen image for the new wine label on Cargo Road Wines latest Nebbiolo wine. It's not your typical label, but then again this is not your typical Vineyard, here they have a holistic approach to running a vineyard with sheep, dung beetles, bees, mixed fruit trees and much more to balance out the effects of humankind on the land. This label is sending out a positive message.
“ This new Nebbiolo Wine is a big bold Italian style red, oozing with savoury characters, which is what my vineyard is becoming most famous for, big delicious reds.” James Sweetapple, owner of Cargo Road Wines
"The Sheep Shear-hers" artwork was inspired by this raw experience, watching the huddling of the sheep, the speed of the shearer, the flying wool, the sheepdog watching on intently, and the backdrop of the vineyard making it the perfect scene to paint. Now in typical Loviz style, I had to add a few kick-arse women into the scene, one shearing, one packing and one consoling the now naked ewe, letting it know her coat will grow back soon and how beautiful she still is from the inside and out. Plus you'll find a glass or two of go-go juice and a few other hidden secrets in the background like sheep using lawnmowers because the vineyard owner always calls them “Holistic Lawnmowers”.
Watch this fun video for a quick overview: Our favourite Vineyard - that Actually Gives a Crap
Yes, it's a slightly unusual wine label, but it has a message about the need for more holistic management techniques in large scale farming. These sheep (A.K.A Holistic Lawnmowers) eat the weeds and grass and make the highest quality fertiliser then ever so kindly disperse it around the property. Next, the dung beetles dig the nutrient manure deep into the soil which supports a healthy soil structure while feeding the grapes, which in turn means there's no artificial crap in these grapes. It's true, with clever management of natural resources no herbicides are needed. Other techniques are used to create a well-rounded farm, like adding bees, a variety of trees, even using special ploughs that don't disturb the wonderful earthworms as much, so nature can do its job making amazing wine with a bit of help from James Sweetapple the owner of Cargo Road Wines, he who wears a million hats.
Straight from the farmers mouth
The vineyard is run holistically, which means we use 'best practice' management techniques to ensure that we are always improving our land and environment, in a safe and reputable manner whilst maintaining a sustainable business. We will be here for a long time. We care as much about growing our grapes as we do making our wines. We nurture our vines all year round, pruning carefully, managing the undergrowth and weeds holistically. Increasing organic matter in the soil, as well as overall soil health. Continuing to develop the terroir. We always harvest the grapes at the optimum level of ripeness.
We grow grapes and make wine for people to enjoy. We care for the environment by managing our land holistically. We use a 7 testing process for decision making, always testing back to the holistic context. We have never used pesticides on the property. Sheep are used to cycle the minerals, and the strategic use of a side throwing slasher to mulch the mid-rows under the vines. In recent years we have used Bio Ag Phos a soft rock phosphate with bacteria to activate the soil releasing more available phosphorous. We have also used compost tea to stimulate fungus and bacteria in the soil, which is feeding the soilfoodweb.
Since 2004 I have created umpteen paintings inspired by this magical vineyard, painting in the rows of the vines at 5 am to catch the sunrise and drinking on the back deck to glow in the sunset. Inevitably many artworks have turned into wine labels. This painting above was inspired by a girls weekend away at the vineyard and as we were leaving we said our goodbyes in exactly the same way as the Charlies Angels used to say goodbye to Bossley. So this artwork "No Angels" was born.
Cargo Road Wines is definitely worth visiting for truly unique wines and a vineyard that has a bit of magic that you can feel if you slow down and enjoy it's perfectly preserved naturalness. www.cargoroadwines.com