Imagine you could write the script of the movie of your life, casting yourself as the hero/heroine. Author Peter Mayle did just that, and they made a movie about it called “A Good Year” starring Russell Crowe. Problem was, Russell was hopelessly miscast – that film should have actually starred me.
When it comes to movies, the thought of being some nameless, government-less, loose-cannon secret agent, kicking the bad guy’s arse somewhere in Central America does appeal, until I consider that in a spy’s mysterious life it would be hard to have a family, a house, a dog – all the things I love. Plus I can’t fight for shit.
Yeah, I know I’m not an actor either, but drop me into a beautiful scene in Provence and orchestrate the inheritance of a sprawling Chateaux and accompanying vineyard, and I won’t need to act. I’d be ecstatic. My happy days would consist of walking the vines, a quick swim or spot of tennis, squabbling with Francois, my grumpy winemaker, all rounded off with a glass of red on the terrace as the sun sets over the rolling hills.
Roger went on the great Australian journey of his youth in the 1960s, eventually finding himself a job picking grapes in a vineyard somewhere between Marseille and Saint Raphael in Provence. In time, word came through that he had progressed to the position of senior picker, and later still, official grape stomper.
By the time he was heard to be barrelling and testing, it had became clear that the story of Roger would likely have to remain just that to us kids back home – a story of an ex-pat Australian who’d taken root amongst the grapevines of Southern France, never to be seen again.
Fast forward 40-odd years, and Roger is well into his fourth decade as head wine taster, and a more content man could not be found, even if I’d penned the script myself.