There won't be any rain dances going on in the Tallis vineyard anytime soon

Unless you've been living under a rock in recent times most wine lovers will have heard wineries and winemakers grumble that the last two wine vintages in Australia have been challenging and at times even excruciating! While we were lucky enough to dash about between storms and pick our Riesling during 2012 the rest of our grapes ended up on the vineyard floor. The 2011 vintage was slightly better and we managed to hand pick small volumes of a couple of our red varieties.

We began our preparations for the 2013 vintage earlier this year as we are counting on next year being a ripper. We hand pruned the entire vineyard to control yields and vine vigour and since then we've been shoot thinning and bunch dropping. We are also planning for our 2013 vintage grapes to be dry grown with the exception of around veraison which is the grape ripening period. These organic vineyard practices are intended to produce low volumes of high colour and flavour grapes, with even ripening and natural acidity. If the rain gods stay away during harvest then disease risk shouldn't be a problem and we can pick our grapes at the optimal time. Sounds perfect doesn't it.

Well we're remaining optimistic that this is a snapshot of how 2013 will look but just in case your garden needs a water, think of us and put that rain dance off. Get out your watering can and in return we hope to make one of our best vintages yet.

Osso Buco Milanese

Andrea Graham is an impressive cook and every time she cooks for family and friends she is inevitably asked for the recipes. Andrea is always happy to share, and here is one of her more recent creations in the kitchen.  This recipe serves 4. When asked what wine she would match with this recipe, Andrea recommended the Tallis Dookie Hills Sangiovese 2005. Perfect for an Italian feast.

Ingredients 8  osso buco (veal shanks) 1/4 cup flour 60 g butter 2/3 cup Tallis Dookie Hills Viognier 2005 3 medium tomatoes or 1 tin of canned whole tomatoes 1 cup chicken stock 1 ½ teaspoons thyme leaves 2 dried bay leaves sea salt black pepper, freshly ground 1/2 cup parsley, chopped 1 glove garlic, finely chopped 2 tsp lemon zest, grated soft polenta or creamy potato mash

Preheat oven to 160 degees celsius. Dust osso buco with flour. Melt butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Sear both sides of the osso buco until browned. Remove meat from the frying pan and place in an ovenproof dish. Add the wine, tomatoes, stock, thyme, bay leaves and seasonings. Cover and place in oven for 1 ½ hours. To make a gremolata topping combine parsley, garlic and lemon zest in a small bowl and set aside.

Remove dish from oven and check whether meat is cooked to your liking. If necessary return dish to oven for an additional 15 minutes.

Spoon soft polenta or potato mash on to the centre of each serving dish. Place two pieces of osso buco on top then spoon sauce from oven dish over the meat. Sprinkle with gremolata and serve.

Apple stuffed beef rolls

A good friend recently cooked this delicious recipe at a dinner party and everyone absolutely loved it. If possible, prepare the dish the day before you plan to serve it to intensify the flavours even further. This recipe serves 4. Try this dish with the Tallis Dookie Hills Shiraz 2005 The dark berry fruit flavours of the Shiraz marry perfectly with the sweetness of the meat.

Ingredients 8 veal scallops, tenderised and cut in half 5 tablespoons butter 1 onion, chopped 1 1/3 cup breadcrumbs 2/3 cup apple, peeled and grated 500mL apple juice or cider 3 rashers bacon 1 teaspoon lemon rind 1/2 teaspoon dried mixed herbs Pinch of salt 2 tablespoons plain flour

Pre-heat oven to 180C.  Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a frying pan, add onion and sautee until golden. Add breadcrumbs, apple, bacon, lemon rind, mixed herbs and salt to pan. Stir over a medium heat for approximately 4 minutes until mixture becomes sticky, then allow to cool.

Tenderise veal using a mallot, allowing the meat to spread out slightly. Place one heaped tablespoon of the apple mixture on each piece of veal and roll up, using a toothpick to secure. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a frying pan and gently pan fry the rolls until evenly browned. Place into a baking dish and add apple juice or cider, and any remaining apple mixture. Cover and cook for Casino Dkaplan a minimum of one hour. Serve with a creamy mash.