Art in the Vines at Renzaglia Wines

Art in the Vines Renzaglia Wines

We are in a huge state of flux at the moment.

Re-envisioning a new and quite different future for Red Moon. Trying to redesign the blog too. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, Steve and I are getting glimpses of a life where the kids need us less, Darcy now an independent driver having got his Ps last Tuesday, Maddy last spotted in a bathhouse in southern Japan. I can sense we will be negotiating a redundancy package before too long lol. To be honest, it’s taking me a bit of getting used to.

We took some time out yesterday to visit Sandy and Mark at Renzaglia Wines at O’Connell for their annual Art in the Vines.

These guys fill my cup.

Remember I took you there last year …

A straw bale house in the country. Sandy with her beautiful rock work and drought tolerant plantings … thriving under a scorching hot sun.

flowers at Renzaglia Winessandy's planting renzaglia wines

Pulling together a great crew of artists and friends …

musos and fans

Mark with his winemaking …

Renzaglia Wines premium reds

This was the first time I’d seen the full range of labels we’ve been working on together for the past year or so.

It started with a complete rebrand which I think Sandy would admit was a bit like letting go of her firstborn.

Then a website.

An initial label.

And now a growing range, of premiums and commercials, some yet to be released.

renzaglia wines range

It got me thinking about rebrands and I can’t help but feel that we’re going through one of our own right now. Evolving into something new. I keep reaching for the rudder but we are definitely being carried along by a tide that’s out of our control.

Sitting out at the Renzo’s yesterday looking at the straw bale home they built themselves, the gardens planted with thought and care, the vineyard in full leaf and a lovely event that is still in its infancy but will grow naturally with the rest of it … it all just made me take a step back and relax. Of course the wine might have helped too.

I have been a mum for nearly 23 years and I know you never stop being a mum.

But when you have been something for so long it’s hard to think of yourself as anything else.

It’s scary.

But it’s a little bit exciting too.

Margaret Hogan sketch at Renzaglia Wines Art in the Vines


    A bag full of glimpses …

    It is dark. And still.

    The storm and lightening have passed and compared to an hour or two ago it is relatively cool.

    We are staying in The River Garden and down below in the open kitchen, the girls have stopped laughing.

    It is late.

    They are making their way home along the river. Apsaras all. The loveliest compliment I can give a Cambodian girl. So gorgeous. And funny.

    We are lapping up the peace after the frenzy of Bangkok.

    I am milking the last moments of a happy night learning to play Briscola with the kids.

    The frogs are filling the garden with their deep throated tubercular croaks.

    It’s been too quick a detour but what can I tell you …



    Three days in Siem Reap will buy you a bag full of glimpses.



    Frozen moments at Angkor Wat.


    Time and her entourage of characters will march right before your eyes …

    monks angkor wat

    You will see colour everywhere you turn …

    angkor wat

    And if you make a journey to a lost city in the dark you will see a sunrise, perhaps a sunrise that happens only twice a year and crowns a temple in gold.

    sunrise angkor wat

    You will see the most intricate stories. And bas-reliefs that will blow your mind…

    details of angkor war

    Hidden passages that lead to doorways bathed in blinding sunlight …

    monk angkor wat

    Seductive reminders of a world long gone …

    reliefs at angkor wat

    But still remembered.

    dancer at bayon temple


    You will see it all.


    However, sometimes it’s not about what you see.


    It’s about what you don’t see.


    headless statues angkor wat


    In three days in Siem Reap we saw no elders.

    Not one.

    We were treated with kindness and warmth and surrounded by smiles.

    But there was not a toothless one among them …

    Cambodia is a country playing catchup.

    A country that has lived through storm and lightening.

    Three days will buy you a bag full of glimpses but it’s what I didn’t see that has left its mark.


    it is never too late to be what you might have been


    And now makes me want to return.




      Sculpture in the Vineyards

      “Trust me,” I said. “When have I ever given you a bum steer with accommodation?”

      “Well there was the night we landed in Damascus at two in the morning … No sheets, no blankets, no lock on the door.”

      I conceded that one. It was a shocker. In fairness though, it was the wrong hotel. We found the right one the next day, but not after a lot of nervous giggling and very little sleep. Would that we could wind back time.


      But this was different.

      Yes, it wasn’t your typical motel. In actual fact The Vine Valley Inn is an old hotel, right in the main street of Cessnock but it has been converted with love and an artistic eye and a funkiness that I couldn’t resist.

      “It’s on top of a bloody pet shop,”

      “Trust me,” I said.

      vine valley inn

      And the moment we walked in he was hooked too, chatting away to Simon the owner and enjoying the crazy mix of art and kitsch.

      vine valley inn simon and steve

      vine valley inn cassock

      In the space of a week we’d gone from 35 degrees in Delhi, to six inches of snow in Duckmaloi (in mid October!), to the main street of Cessnock to deliver a sculpture to Sculpture in the Vineyards, an annual sculpture competition and exhibition held at four different vineyards in the beautiful Wollombi Valley about two hours north of Sydney.

      Sculpture in the Vineyards 2014

      Our friend (and artist) Harrie Fasher, has been encouraging Steve to start putting his work out there so he was very chuffed to be accepted into this year’s exhibition. His piece is on display at the Stonehurst Cellar Door. Thanks Haz x


      And I was very chuffed to be able to tag along with camera in hand, especially when I laid eyes on the Stonehurst cellar doors!

      Stonehurst Cellar Door

      Suddenly India didn’t feel so far away …

      Stonehurst Cellar Door

      Stonehurst Cellar Door

      It’s a really big deal making the leap towards making art, putting yourself out there, opening your work up to criticism.

      This week he launched a website: and a Facebook page – with a little help of course ;)

      Steve and The Australia Policy

      The Australia Policy

      And today is his birthday. Happy to you my clever boy. mwah x

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          Hi I’m Margaret. I live in Australia.
          I sprinkle creative magic onto businesses
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          When I'm not there, I'm here and now, doing my own creative happy dance – primarily to avoid housework and other
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