In 2006 I was still trying to make a name for myself as a freelancer and out of the blue, I received an invite to shoot the annual Vintners Long Lunch for Gourmet Traveller Wine magazine. It was my first feature shoot for them. (It was shot entirely on 35mm transparency film. You can see every thing is softer, it almost has that old-school feel, especially the long table shot towards the window. That was the beauty of slide film. It was hard to get right, but when you did, it was magical.)

James Wark

Robert Hill Smith
A very young and short haired Phil Lehmann
Andy La Nauze
Peter Clarke and James Wark

When I arrived people were gasping “How did you get into this? Who died?” It was a pretty tight group. I found out that entry rules were at least one magnum of wine per person.

Long Table

I spotted Bob McLean whom I’d met a few years earlier. He held an Erinmeyer flask with 1500mls of wine straight from the barrel. Man I loved that guy. The King of the long lunch.

Bob McLean

Anyway, it was a shame I was driving, but probably just as well as people got pretty loose buy the end. Chef Pete Clarke blew my mind, as he always does, with unique but tasty dishes. (The amuse busche was salt and pepper ducks tongues)

All the Barossa faces were there and I’d slowly get to know more of them well in the years that followed.