Love is in the air at Ballandean Estate. Meet French lovebirds Afef and Thomas!
Ballandean Estate’s harvest season has been sweetened by the addition of honeymooning French couple Afef Idoudi (24) and Thomas Relizani (28), who have spent the last few weeks hand-picking much of Ballandean Estate’s fruit for the season.
Our vineyard valentines hail from Nice in the south of France, and have been honeymooning in Australia since their late November wedding.
Travelling the east coast of Australia is our lifelong dream, and we are lucky enough to be doing this for the next two years. Thomas and I are both nature-lovers. This is our first job in Australia, and we feel so blessed to be helping the Puglisi family bring their fruit in with tender loving care.
The Granite Belt is such an incredible food bowl—grapes, strawberries, tomatoes, lettuces, and all of the beautiful fruit orchards. Such abundance! We hope to spend several months here working on the land,” says Afef Idoudi.
Girraween bushfires and a blessing
This harvest has been challenging. The raging bushfires at Girraween National Park have struck terror into every vineyard family. We’ve spent the last three weeks picking most of our crop by hand to minimise risk to the fruit.
However we are pleased to report that our chief winemaker Dylan Rhymer says we are free of smoke taint at this stage with all of the fruit he has tested and tasted. Look at our glorious Shiraz in the crushing machine!”, says Robyn.