Cool, Calm & Collected

Words: Campbell Mattinson

Editor Campbell Mattinson opens the door to his home cellar and reveals a space of gradual, graceful development.

In early autumn 2004, I moved 500-odd bottles of carefully cellared wine from a locker at a storage facility in Melbourne to our new home in rural Victoria. The property had space aplenty and a double garage begging to be stuff ed with wine, but no obvious or easy area to stash wine for the long term. Winter was freezing, so both the wine and me slept through. In spring we thawed. Then, on the cusp of summer, hot weather hit and I panicked. The wine became my equivalent of Private Ryan. It needed to be saved.

The new house was both inland and north of the great Dividing range; in summer this translates to cold nights and almost uniformly hot, dry days. Wine that is going to be stored for any length of time needs to be kept in dark, cool conditions, but most especially it likes to be kept constant. This is why some people stuff cases of wine under their beds; not to mention the convenience. I had moved to an area where the only constant was change. In early summer the nights are sub-10 degrees, the days 30-plus.

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