Passionate people doing amazing things out here at Wobbly Boot wines. When everything falls into place, magic happens. Paul Williams lopes up in gumboots and shady hat. “Don’t go into the wine business in Tasmania if you’re a control freak!” He says as he shakes hands and takes us on a tour of his small patch of paradise.
We’re out in the wilds of Campania, in the heart of the Coal River Valley, and as we drove up to the tasting room (which is really a house), Maeve, the golden retriever and vineyard dog, ushers us in. And she takes her escorting duties very seriously.
Here to film Paul and Linda for our membership site, Cook and Cauldron, I’m fascinated by their own unique story of how they got here. Linda comes from a long career in hospitality education, and teaches Year 11 and 12 students now. She loves the vineyard with a passion, grows as much of her produce as she can, and is totally committed to contributing to the RSPCA and animal welfare.
Paul, from a farming background and an ex-teacher, is full time in the vines and controlling the farm at Wobbly Boot. He believes that Tassie, with its cool temperate climate and rich soil has perfect conditions for producing outstanding wines. He’s right, of course, as Tasmanian wines are constantly taking their place on the world stage.
While the crop yield is small, and they are totally organic, Maeve helps by chasing the pesky possums, and acres of nets keep the birds at bay, to a point. They still manage to nest in the lower branches, and Paul makes sure they don’t pick until the fledglings hatch and are airborne.
Trying to spread the word isn’t easy, but Linda and Paul seem to have a knack for coming up with marketable ideas, and they run 3 packages: They do a vine to glass class; a wine and chocolate matching course, and, you can be Vigneron for a day. I’ll take some of that! Then, they have special dog friendly days where people can visit, picnic, they have a small market, and raise money for animal welfare.
They’ve even been known to have “Doga” or dog yoga, something, if I had a dog, I would love to try. With the dog. And I’m sure they won’t stop there. If there’s a will, there’s a way, and Paul and Linda are in the business they love for the long haul. I wish them well. The footage is looking beautiful, and I’m excited.
And as for the Wobbly Boot? It’s the shape of the land, and the clever graphic on their wine labels instantly took me back to my childhood and Gulliver’s Travels. And this vineyard might be Lilliputian, but the dreams, and hearts, are big. They’ll get there.