Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

Vineyard damages from Australian wildfires

By Jessica Yadegaran
Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 at 11:22 am in Corkheads.

Australian wildfires

An industry statement was released this morning from the Australian Wine & Brandy Corporation detailing the wine industry losses as a result of the devastating wildfires that began in the state of Victoria last week.

“Impacts range from the tragic loss of human life through to property damage, vineyard damage, smoke taint, and heat stress,” the press release states. “However, due to the unpredictable nature of bushfires, the impacts have been highly variable by region and individual enterprises.

So far, the wine producing areas of Beechworth, Bendigo, Gippsland, Heathcote, and the Yarra Valley have been directly threatened. While a full assessment of the impact on the wine sector won’t be available for weeks, the report stated that the majority of wineries in Victoria are operating normally with grapes being crushed and visitors

A more extensive assessment has been made for the Yarra Valley, the largest of the affected regions. The Yarra Valley Wine Growers Association estimates that 200 acres of vineyards have been damaged or destroyed. There will be no crops harvested from these vineyards this year. This represents about 3 percent) of the planted vineyard area. So the impact on grapes won’t be enormous on the size of that harvest.

Still, this tragedy comes at a time when Australia is facing challenges, from mercurial climate woes to low sales overseas. I’m keeping all these great people and their fabulous wines in my heart – and belly – at this time.

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  • Married an Aussie

    Jessica, you might want to resize your picture next time, so people don’t think you had a teaser entry. If you’re clueless about my reply, your picture dragged the story below your right border. But, thanks for sharing!

  • Paige Granback

    We’re hosting a wine tasting and silent auction fundraiser for victims of the Victorian Bushfires tonight (Friday the 20th) at Crushpad. Details about the tasting are on the Tasting Calendar at Pre-registration ends at noon today, but there will be a limited number of tickets available at the door. $30 for entry to taste nearly 75 wines from Victoria. All proceeds go to the Australian Red Cross Victorian Bushfire Relief Fund.