Merlot Anyone?

G’Day Mob,

You’d think we’d learn wouldn’t you? Not content to turn Rocky Springs into a brewery in January with disastrous results, we are now turning the farm into a winery.

We’ve come upon another great idea for supplementing the cattle during this dry spell – grape marc. Straight out of the wineries in Griffith comes this dark reddish-brown feed, looking for all the world like garden mulch. Apparently the grapes are steamed to release the juice, which goes to make the wine, and once the process is complete the skin, pulp, seeds and stems are discarded – or sent to Rocky Springs as cattle feed.

So we ordered forty tonnes of the stuff, which fell off the back of a truck this morning:

99 truck

Although it looks rough there is a fair bit of moisture (wine!) in this sample and it is hot so I guess it must have been loaded directly from the processing plant into the truck. But does it look appertising to you?

99 close marc

In the next photo you can see the steam rising from the pile of marc now sitting on our pad and in the background you will see a familiar figure. Manfred is pretending to be nonchalant but at the same time he is keeping a close eye on proceedings.

99 pile

Another thing you may notice in the photo is green grass; very short grass, but still green. Last month Rocky was under 118mm of very welcome rain. It hasn’t filled the dams nor started the creek flowing but at least there is some feed in the paddocks and we can breathe easier.

Now we just have to convince the cows to enjoy a bit of merlot-infused mulch with their fresh sweet grass. Let’s hope the winery is more profitable than the brewery.

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8 responses to “Merlot Anyone?

  1. I loved the story of Manfred – the drawings are priceless!

    I had not heard of marc being fed to cows. Thanks for the education! I’ve heard of citrus pulp being fed over here.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/05/orange-peels-cattle-feed_n_1129567.html.

    Oregon State University is experimenting with other uses for winemaking waste:
    http://oregonstate.edu/ua/ncs/archives/2013/mar/osu-turns-winemaking-waste-fiber-supplement-food-preservative-and-flowerpots

    • Well as of this morning (not quite 24hrs since it was delivered) the marc is still a steaming pile and the cattle are ignoring it. Hope that changes shortly!

  2. Ah perhaps it is an acquired taste to their sensitive palettes!

  3. So interesting the way people diversify – interesting to see ‘marc’ will extend my education
    Enjoyed the story in the series of photos

  4. How are they doing with the marc? Have they decided to eat it yet?

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