The Story of Amy
Clare and Keith are frequently asked, “Who is Amy?” It’s a favourite story which they are always happy to share.
It began just prior to the 1985 vintage, when a local Yallingup lad by the name of Ian Bell called into Moss Wood to see if we needed any help through the harvest. He was a big, strapping bloke and Clare and Keith were happy to have him on board. He helped through the vintage, then with pruning and did such a fine job he finished up staying for 21 years.
Ian lived on the family farm, Glenmore, about 10 kilometres north of Moss Wood. Early on in the piece, he invited Clare and Keith for dinner, where they were introduced to his parents, Allan and Sonia but perhaps most importantly, his grandparents, Amy and Bill Beers.
Glenmore, in fact, belonged to Amy and she was a lady with quite a history to share. Born on the property in 1920, she had lived there all her life, apart from a brief stint in Melbourne during the Second World War. Her descriptions of life in the Margaret River region, especially during the Great Depression, were entrancing and so different to the modern life. She would proudly say the only things they used to buy from outside the farm were kerosene, matches, sugar and tea. Everything else they grew themselves. In 1985 she was still an active, 65 year old beef farmer, running the farm and looking after her cows, who only allowed herself one day off per week, to go and play in the Ladies golf competition at Busselton Golf Club. Without exaggeration, she was a strong and independent woman many decades before it became a social cause.
By 1990, Ian had graduated in Viticulture from Roseworthy College in South Australia and he approached his grandmother about diversifying the farm’s income and planting a vineyard. Amy and her family had always been entrepreneurial and so she happily agreed that one of her valuable beef paddocks could be turned into a vineyard and Ian got the project under way with his first Cabernet planting.
In 1997, Clare and Keith negotiated a 3 year contract with Ian to buy the fruit and in 1998, the first wine was released as the Moss Wood “Glenmore Vineyard” Cabernet Sauvignon.
Ian had also made clear that he would eventually like to leave Moss Wood, return to working on the farm and make his own wine. Clare and Keith were more than happy to encourage him to do so and he released his first “Glenmore Cabernet Sauvignon”, the 2000 vintage, in 2004. Ian finally resigned from Moss Wood in 2006.
The Mugfords didn’t want there to be any confusion between the two products and began looking around for a new name that would link their wine to the Glenmore vineyard. They asked Amy if she’d be happy if it were to be named after her and she very graciously agreed and so, with the 2003 vintage, Clare and Keith released the “Amy’s Vineyard”.
Since then, there were a couple more name changes. The first was to “Amy’s Blend”, when the wine became a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Malbec and then over time, everybody, customers and Moss Wood people alike, began to abbreviate the name simply to “Amy’s”, the name we still use today.
Sadly, but fittingly, Amy died on the Glenmore farm in 2007. Although she’s no longer with us to share her stories, we’re sure she’d be proud of the wine and delighted to think it was enjoyed by customers all round the world.