We have many stories to share, so make sure you stay posted!
92 Points • Zonte’s Footstep (Australia) 2014 Z-Force Reserve, McLaren Vale. Gold Medal
91 Points • Zonte’s Footstep (Australia) 2016 Lake Doctor, Shiraz, Langhorne Creek. Gold Medal
91 Points • Zonte’s Footstep (Australia) 2016 Baron Von Nemesis, Shiraz, Barossa Valley. Gold Medal
90 Points • Zonte’s Footstep (Australia) 2016 Chocolate Factory, Shiraz, McLaren Vale. Gold Medal
John* (name protected for privacy) contacted us just a couple of months ago, feeling quite disgruntled about our Z-Force wine. He was upset that we had named it Z-Force, as the unit’s official name was actually known as ‘Z Special Unit’. We were appreciative of this knowledge, but assured him that the wine isn’t intended to be named as the unit, but rather serve as a tribute to their service.
From this first point of contact, we have established a fantastic association with John to learn more about the Z Special Unit so that we are more aware about the background behind our tribute, through our Z-Force wine.
As he told us, it is sad to know there are no grave sites or memorials in Thailand for Z Special Unit, however, Kranji Cemetery in Singapore does have a number of sites commemorating these brave individuals. In particular, the gentlemen who were executed for their part in Operation Rimau.
John is still very much involved, as he continues to pay homage to the Z Special Unit in his daily life. He informs us that he will be in Thailand again this year (his tenth consecutive year), now in fact, where he is assisting the Australian Embassy there to lay wreaths (three Victorian Associations had asked him this year to lay wreaths) and also to escort wreath layers at Kanchanaburi Cemetery.
Prior to the mid-morning service today (April 25, Anzac Day), many hundreds of people would have attended the Dawn Service at Hellfire Pass. In John’s opinion, this is a 'bucket List' item for Australians and many other nationalities as it is on the Konyu Cutting on the Burma - Thai Railway line where the Z Special Unit servicemen also frequented.
We are so thankful of our association with John, and the knowledge that he gives us about the Z Special Unit. Thank you for sharing your stories and knowledge with us John.
With the release of our 2014 Z-Force (being the fourth release of this wine), we’d like to tell you the story behind the beginning of this label.
In 2008, we were approached by a digger based in northern Queensland who served in the Z Special Unit who commented on the similarities of our Zonte’s Footstep logo to the unofficial unit insignia they had used – a red Z with a black dagger through it. We sent a selection of our wines for members to enjoy, which were wholeheartedly appreciated.
The Z Special Unit was a special Australian Army unit created in World War II to operate behind enemy lines. Z-Force’s members were from many countries and specialised in unique guerrilla warfare. Although disbanded after the war, Z-Force pioneered numerous operational techniques and tactics, many as daring as they were brilliant; and they remain a model to this day.
We saw this as an opportunity for the beginning of a meaningful namesake – and we decided to name this flagship wine in tribute of the Z Special Unit – the Z-Force Shiraz Petit Sirah. As a part of this arrangement to name the wine as such, the digger asked that we donate proceeds from sales of this wine to an organisation he truly admires – Legacy. It is to this day that we have a long-standing relationship with Legacy, of whom we continue to support and sponsor where we can.
(George* is pictured in the middle)
This month, with the release of the 2014 vintage of our Z-Force Shiraz Petit Sirah, we'd like to take the opportunity to share some stories about those involved with or associated in some way to the military, the Z Special Unit, and Legacy. We'd like to share these stories to increase awareness and appreciation of the experiences of those who have risked their lives to serve our country.
George* (name protected for privacy) was a serviceman in the 3RAR (Third Royal Army Regiment) Battalion, based at the Woodside Army Barracks. He served there for six years.
He reminisces fondly of the gathering that he and his fellow serviceman from the Battalion had back in November 2015 – one of the largest ever gatherings they have had – which attracted 330 members to Hahndorf.
George and fellow members of the battalion served in conflicts such as the Vietnam War, as well as overseas postings to counries including Malaysia (George went here). Although the servicemen experienced adverse times, George reflects fondly of their reunion as it had been a long time since he had seen many of his fellow comrades since service ceased.
NV Bolle Felici Prosecco
2015 Hills Are Alive Shiraz
2016 Dusk Till Dawn Chardonnay
2015 Avalon Tree Cabernet
Today we would like to share the story of Sally* (name protected for privacy).
Our colleague Helen* lived in a small country town and met Sally this way, typical of being a small country town. She discovered that her husband and Sally’s husband served in same battalion (at different times) – the Third Royal Australian Regiment – and also served in the Korean War. They all became very close, and spent a lot of time together at each other’s houses sharing meals and stories together.
One day Sally’s husband was diagnosed with cancer and tragically ended up passing away. This left a hole in not only Sally’s life, but Helen and her husband’s too as they were all such good friends.
When her husband passed away, Sally lost herself. She spent her life knowing how to look after him, but once he’d gone, she didn’t know how to look after herself. Sally still spent a fair bit of time at Helen’s house, keeping each other company and helping each other through this tough time. Helen noticed more and more that Sally was becoming quite unkept, and she was concerned about her. She went to her house one day, and what she saw was truly shocking… rubbish and paraphernalia stacked up to her knees… the house smelled terrible and was filthy. Her dog also lived inside with her and made a mess. You could barely move. It was clear Sally was living from her bed.
Helen was lost with what to do, until she thought of Legacy. She called them, and no questions asked, sent out a cleaning team to Sally’s house.
Sally, and Helen, are so grateful for the kindness of Legacy. If it wasn’t for them, Helen wouldn’t have known what to do to help her friend in this situation.
As part of our sponsorship of Legacy, Zonte’s Footstep donates a proportion of each bottle of Z-Force sold to support the work of this wonderful organisation. Our mission. pursued with the same determination displayed by Z-Force, is to make this third only to Badge day as the largest fundraiser for Legacy South Australia.
We first began making the Z-Force Shiraz Petit Sirah in 2009 to honour the remarkable bravery of our lost brothers in the Z-Force unit of World War II. The release of our 2014 vintage of this wine will be the fourth release of this label. To this day, we have donated upwards of $10,000 to Legacy Adelaide from proceeds from Z-Force sales.
Did you know that Legacy Clubs...
- Protect the basic needs of individuals and families; advocates for entitlements, rights and benefits of individuals and families; assists families to cope with bereavement and helps people thrive, despite their adversity and loss.
- Provide care and support to the ‘Families’ of incapacitated and deceased veterans (Widows, Widowers, Children & Disabled Dependents). Legacy provides a range of social activities and essential services and supports these families through hardship, loss, grief, personal development and social inclusion. Legacy provides practical support such as help with education expenses and dental care for children and youth, holiday respite, home maintenance, assistance with utility bills, advice and assistance with claiming pensions, financial counselling, legal advice, advocacy and much, much, more. The youth support which Legacy provides is often critical and can make a real difference in the chances a young person has of a successful career and in life in general, chances which are often diminished by the loss of a parent.
Each year Legacy Clubs provide 16,000 day trips for widows,
Every year 350 children receive education support from Legacy and;
Every year Legacy assists 8,000 with help around the house with home maintenance visits
Adelaide Legacy alone supports over 6,500 families, but to do so they have to raise over 95% of their own funds. Little assistance is received from Government; most funds are raised from their own fundraising efforts conducting events, appeals and lotteries and from the generous support of loyal sponsors like us here at Zonte’s Footstep to help continue this great work.
Happy International Women's Day!
It's a shame to see in this day and age there is still a discrepancy between the genders employed in a lot of industries, including the wine industry. It has been found that women roughly make up only 10% of viticulturists and winemakers in Australia (Kesteven, S. 2016, ABC). Thankfully, we have people and organisations out there who have made it their mission to change that, including Jane Thomson from the Fabulous Ladies Wine Society and the annual Australian Women in Wine Awards.
We'd like to take this opportunity to talk about and show some appreciation for the women that we have here at Zonte's, and the amazing work that they do...
Anna Fisher (aka System Engineer & Grape Counter)
Wife of Brett and mum to Amber and Brooke (and not to forget big puppy Luna), Anna is an active clubbie of South Port SLSC and has been for the past ten years. She is a real social butterfly - it is rare that you won't see her smiling from cheek to cheek and is always out at various events and networking opportunities to get to know new people.
We appreciate her and what she does for Zonte's - she's always looking at ways to improve the way that we do things (system engineer), is the strategic mastermind behind a lot of our cool innovations including our Bolle Felici in a Can, and keeps our numbers in line (grape counter).
Tess King (aka Social Media Queen, Marketing Guru, Carer of Customers)
Our other Zonte's woman we'd like to show appreciation for today is our Social Media & all things Marketing Queen, Tess (pictured right). You don't often get to see her because she's the one behind the social media!
Mum of fur baby Tilly (a stripy Tabby cat), Tess is known to be a real foodie - you'll often see her out on weekends checking out the various different places to eat popping up in little Adelaide. Her favourite places to scope out are Rundle, Ebenezer and Gouger Streets, and Ebenezer Place. She also takes her coffee VERY seriously (won't just drink any coffee), she was once a barista in a past life so if she asks if you'd like a coffee its best to just say yes. She loves spending time with her friends and family, exercise, and time out in the sun and down the beach. Here's a fun fact: she's also seen 29 countries!
We appreciate her and what she does for Zonte's - she keeps her finger on the pulse for the latest marketing trends and what others AREN'T doing, stays on top of all of our social media (social media queen), and takes pride in looking after our customers (carer of customers).
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