by / Comments Off on COUNTING THE COST / 27 View / March 4, 2020

IN the worst Australian bushfire season on record, fires raged across the continent and amid the horror of lost lives, lost houses and livelihoods, came losses, too, for the Australian wine industry.
One-third of grape production in the Adelaide Hills, a premium wine-producing region noted for quality chardonnay and pinot noir, was lost or damaged in catastrophic Christmas bushfires.
At the time of writing the damage bill was estimated at $100 million. Close to 60 producers were affected and a number of the region’s best-known vineyards and wineries were lost, including Henschke’s Lenswood Vineyard, Tilbrook Estate, New Era Vineyards, Golding Estate, Riposte, Barristers Block, Tomich and Vinteloper.
The Henschke Lenswood vineyard, planted to the oldest pinot noir vines in the region, is gone. It was planted in 1983 by winemaker Tim Knappstein. Fortunately, the vineyard is located away from the producer’s main vineyards, including the world-famous Hill of Grace, in the neighbouring Eden Valley wine region.
South Australian Premier Steven Marshall has established an emergency relief fund to help those affected by the Adelaide Hills fire.
Wine drinkers have also been encouraged to buy Adelaide Hills wines over the coming months.
The Adelaide Hills Wine Region Inc. has an official fundraising account on GoFundMe.