Tim Kirk: Looking back on 2019

So this is Christmas and what have you done?

Christmas is a time for reflection, so the Catholic Voice asked twelve prominent Catholics to share their thoughts on 2019

Tim Kirk, Chief Winemaker/CEO Clonakilla Wines

Highlight of 2019

The Light to the Nations Easter pilgrimage run by my community, Disciples of Jesus. We had over 1000 people, mostly young people and fam­ilies with kids. We celebrated the full Easter Triduum in a huge tent, from Holy Thursday to Easter Sunday.

A low point

A frost on the morning of October 9 did significant damage to the vines in the lower parts of the Clonakilla vineyard, reducing our expected crop significantly. Add that to the effects of severe drought and it has been a tough year on the farm.

A professional achievement

The Clonakilla 2018 Shiraz Viognier made it into the James Suckling Top 100 which is a great accolade. James Suckling is an influential international wine critic and he and his team tasted over 25,000 wines around the world. We came in at number 11, the highest placed of the five Australian wines on the list.

A personal achievement

Preaching on Easter Sunday morning at Light to the Nations. My theme was the risen Jesus breathing the Holy Spirit into the disciples when he appeared to them in the upper room (John 20.22). I love preaching.

Something I have learned

Not to be self-righteous and/or judgmental of others. I came to the very simple realization that the devil is trying to throw all of us off the path all the time. St Teresa of Avila insisted that humility was the beginning of ev­erything as far as real spiritual growth is concerned.

READ ALSO:  Open dialogue potentially transformative says Dr Hugh Mackay

A news event that affected me

The severity of fires in NSW and QLD was a sign of just how extreme the drought is. I really feel for farmers watching their paddocks turn to dust around them.

How I approach 2020

I want to go deeper into God and seek wisdom from the Holy Spirit about how I and my friends can be His in­strument to renew the Church.

In the 12 days leading up to Christmas we will be sharing daily reflections looking back on 2019. You can find the other reflections here.


Wordpress (7)
  • Anne Mathas 3 years

    Best wishes As you journey into 2020.
    We enjoy your wines regularly.
    Anne Mathas 

    • Tim Kirk 3 years

      Thank you Anne!
      Blessings and kind regards,

  • Brenden Walters 3 years

    So you are a preacher then, such is life. Indeed, great to hear it. And a winemaker. What a dangerous combination. I knew you at Daramalan although I never had the privilege of teaching you, nor did you have the privilege of being taught by me. Such is life. As I recall, you had a brother who could run; or was that you. Was Hugh Henry your vintage?

    • Tim Kirk 3 years

      Thanks Brenden.
      I remember you!
      A few of my brothers are runners as it turns out. Me, not so much…
      I trust all is well with you.
      Many blessings to you during Advent.

  • Justin Donnelly 3 years

    As a teacher of you all those years ago at Daramalan I was both heartened and inspired to read your article. I am so pleased to see that, as your Religion teacher for a Term, that you would evangelise through preaching ! May God bless you, your family and the fruits of the vines.

  • Tim Kirk 3 years

    You clearly had a positive impact on me Justin.
    A belated thank you!
    More than ever I believe the Church needs gifted communicators, lay, clerical and religious alike.
    I’m so grateful to experience that gift as it works through me.
    Advent blessings,

  • Robert Falzon 3 years

    Thankyou Tim for the generous summary of your year.
    I pray that 2020 is a year to flourish.
    Such a joy to traverse this spiritual journey with you and to be on mission with you in this country.