|Kim and John - the inspirations for "Waterford Estate" with|
a copy of In His Eyes and a bottle of Lillicur Estate shiraz.
Today is the official launch day for "In His Eyes", my second SuperRomance. To commemorate the occasion, I thought I'd give you a little insight into the "behind the scenes" of Hugh and Zoe's story -- which is partly based on the story of some very special friends of mine.
This is Kim and John, the minds (and hard work) behind Lillicur Estate, a boutique vineyard in the Pyrenees region of Victoria (Australia). Kim and I went to high school together, and then she met John in her first year at university, so the three of us (and then, in time, their two beautiful daughters) have been friends for longer than is polite to mention.
Kim and John decided to start up their own vineyard about seven years ago. Kim has a biology/chemistry background, so being familiar with lab equipment and stuff like acidity tests, the technical side of wine-making wasn't too daunting for her. John is a techie and an entrepreneur and definitely not afraid of rolling up his sleeves to drive a tractor, so they found the perfect piece of land and they set out to plant a some shiraz plants. At first, I have to admit, the "vineyard" really just looked like a bunch of scrawny sticks in a paddock to me...
But, a few years on, and their second vintage was winning silver medals in local wine shows, and their wine was being sold in selected local restaurants (as well as being a favourite on my own table). It's still very boutique, so you can't wander in to your local store and ask for some, but to me, that only makes it more special. :)
When I first came up with the idea for Hugh and Zoe's story, I was having a little girls' weekend away with Kim. I had this germ of an idea about a woman returning to her childhood home, a vineyard, and facing the task of finishing a wine vintage on her own. So I started peppering Kim with questions. What would happen if things went wrong? How much of the wine making could a lone woman be able to do without help? What problems might she encounter?
Kim was amazingly helpful and, in fact, continued to keep answering her phone when I called her over the following months with other, strange questions, when she really had every right to say, "enough now, okay?". But no, she continued to put up with me asking seemingly dumb stuff. How physically demanding is racking off? (That's when you empty the oak barrels of wine, clean them out and fill them back up again.) What finishing touches would you want to make to a wine before it was bottled? What would you need to do to a wine if it had been left in oak barrels for too long?
|Happy launch day, |
Hugh and Zoe!
And so, tonight, for the official launch day of In His Eyes, I went and found myself a glass of delicious red wine at a very lovely wine bar. Yum!
To celebrate the launch of In His Eyes, I'm going to give a copy to a random commenter. Tell me about a good friend who's done you a huge favour.
And if a free book giveaway isn't enough for you, visit my blog and leave a comment there to go in the running for a pair of stunning Riedel wine glasses. I'm choosing a commenter at random from throughout the month of August to win this very special prize.