If you’ve had anything to do with the Bathurst Vignerons Association or The National Cool Climate Wine Show in recent years, the name Ruth Anderson will be all too familiar to you. A gently spoken woman whose mere presence left us both humbled and encapsulated by her life.
Ruth and her late husband Donny’s property- 3 Views at Raglan, has been the source of not only some amazing cool climate wine but a special place filled with memories, family and everything in between for the Anderson family.
We were lucky enough to sit down and speak to Ruth.
When did you purchase your vineyard? What got you interested in the wine industry?
“Well my husband and I actually owned the property for a long time and it was our eldest son Murray who came back to Orange to live who was very keen on starting a vineyard. The first grapes were planted in 2001”
All those years ago when you purchased 3 Views, did you have any visions for the vineyard?
“I loved working in the vineyard but I can’t say I had any great vision to what I wanted- obviously we all want to make money out of these things which doesn’t always happen”
Although it was your son who was the driving force in starting the vineyard, did you grow to love it?
“yes, I think it was very good working in the vineyard- there is a lot of work there- it can be both very rewarding and very frustrating”
In all the years you have been involved in the wine industry, how have you seen it change
“I think the main thing that has actually changed is that we are actually probably over producing- meaning it is a lot harder to move the wine and to sell it. There is an overproduction, I find it very frustrating that local places don’t always support local growers are much as they could”
How has the drought affected you and how have you seen it affect the region?
“It has had a devastating effect on the region, our biggest problem has been the lack of water, we’ve had to pump water from one dam to another just to keep the sheep alive, it’s been a long three months feeding the sheep and we just hope and pray for some more rain”
You sadly lost your husband Donny only two years ago, what is your favorite memory of Donny at the vineyard?
“Just being able to work alongside him every day, we were married for 55 years- I miss him a lot”
Did you and Donny share a favorite wine?
“The only one he ever drank was the port- he had a little ruby every night”
“I mainly drink the whites- riesling and chardonnay, we’ve got one out now- the malbec merlot and its quite light and smooth, so I don’t mind it but I don’t like the big tannins reds, which you don’t get many of within cool climate wines, they’re not as heavy as say the Barossa Valley reds”
How many years have you been involved in the NCCWS?
“At least 10 years- its probably even longer’
Do you love attending every year?
“Oh yes, it’s such a comradery of working together and the volunteers that help are absolutely marvelous- it couldn’t happen without them, we are only a very small group”
You’ve won a bucket load of awards at The National Cool Climate Wine Show, What’s your secret?
“Well, I should say at this point, that we don’t make our own wines anymore, we never did make our own whites due to the complexities. Up until 2009, we made it up until the barrel stage, but our winemakers – Madrez wine services are the experts, they’re the ones with all the secrets”
Apart from your winery, what are your other interests?
“My grandchildren, I have four in total- two in Melbourne and two here. The little ones here are very special to me. I also knit, crochet- I love to garden and I attend Thai Chi”
Your still apart of the winemaking Association in Bathurst, is that something that is important to you?
“Yes, They have always been very supportive, it’s just a very small group, we support one another”
What are your top picks for things to see and do around Bathurst?
“The mineral and fossil and fossil museum is something everyone should go and see- I think it’s amazing”
“If they are wine-o’s they should defiantly make the time to visit some of the wineries such as vale creek that have some beautiful cellar doors”
“There are beautiful heritage buildings, places like Abercrombie house is something that is really nice for people to visit when they come to town”