24 hours with...Debra Moore, Hunter Valley Wine Wizard

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24 hours with...Debra Moore, Hunter Valley Wine Wizard

What time do you get to work? How many coffees have you had by 3pm? Welcome to '24 hours', where you'll learn how successful you can be if you listen to classic rock in the workplace and whether the boss cooks their own dinner.

Debra Moore is the Director of Moorebank Private Vineyard, with her family having been involved in the wine industry since the mid-17th century. They specialise in small batches of high quality wine and associated products, including grape sauce and preserves, which they sell through their Cellar Door and via direct subscription. Moorebank is pretty unique; they've named each of their classes of wine after their children (the Charlton Chardonnay is excellent, not that we're being biased) and they've even managed to house-train their sheep. They also have a really great slogan: 'Conserve water, drink Moorebank wines.' We catch up with Debra to find out what happens in 24 hours of a winemaker's day:

What time do you wake up in the morning?
Unofrtunately, I get woken up at 5:45am!

Newspaper, radio or iPad before work?
We listen to Christian radio in the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen for the music and educational programs.

How do you usually spend your first hour at work?
My first hour each day is usually spent dealing with the requirements of my inbox or cutting up fruit or vegetables to get them ready for processing into condiments. 

Does your business vary from day to day or do you often repeat the same processes. Why/why not?
Living and working on a famiky-owned vineyard estate is extremely diverse; almost every day is different and everyone needs to be multi-skilled. In the summer we could be picking or processing grapes (either wine or table) and in winter it might be pruning. It changes all the time but it very seasonal.

Lunch; at your desk or out of the office?
I usually eat in our kitchen or dining room with my husband and adult children who work for Moorebank. In Autumn and Spring we try to eat out on the deck overlooking the vineyard to enjoy the sun and fresh air. 



Tell us something that you have to do every day that most people wouldn’t know about?
Most days I have to put my famous pet sheep Sheila out of the house before she devours any more invoices, cheque butts or children's homework, not to mention fruit or vegetables along the way!

It’s 3:30pm. How many cups of coffee have you had?
I have two organic coffees in the morning, followed by a few tastes of wine with customers at the cellar door - just checking for oxidisation, of course - but also to adhere to the Bible verse 'Wine was able to make glad the heart of man.'

How much work do you get done after 5pm, or do you use that to allocate tasks for the next day?
In summer we would still be processing grapes into our Spicy Grape sauce, jam or pickled Spice Grapes well into the night. By comparison, in Authmn and Winter, we'd prune the grape vines until dark. At other times of the year, after the Cellar Door is closed we walk through the vineyard for exercise with our eight sheep, two cats and dog while we chat about the day and plan the next.



Does your work come home with you?
When you live and work on the same estate there is always work in and around everywhere you look but the upside is you can always have a glass of wine to lighten the load and lift your spirits to set your creative juices running.  

Who’s cooking/buying dinner tonight?
I usually do because my husband has other pressing concerns like export dealings, financials or wine distribution meetings to attend. That being said, Ian is very capable in the kitchen and does some wonderful things with seafood, as is our 19 year-old son, Charlton. He and our daughter Summar cook up a storm on the rotisserie or BBQ and use our Spicy Grape Sauce to make new recipes to upload to our website.
  • This is what we need - an insight to make eevrynoe think Report this

  • Gee thanks Jonno Looking fw to reading the rest of the great mag. Thanks again Deb Report this

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