Australia is experiencing what has been described as an unprecedented bushfire season, and it’s far from over. Since September 2019, an estimated 6 million hectares of land has burned.
So far, 24 people have died, thousands of homes have been destroyed and tens of thousands of people have been displaced. The World Wildlife Foundation estimates that around 1.25 billion animals may have been killed as a result of the 2019/2020 bushfires.
The bushfires have affected the Australian wine industry, too. Significant fires in South Australia destroyed an estimated one-third of wine production in the Adelaide Hills in December, according to Adelaide Hills Wine’s Jared Stringer.
Numerous wineries lost everything, from land and vineyard to wineries, equipment, wine stock and more. Fifty-plus grape growers in the region, who don’t have social media or online business listings, have also been affected.
Tilbrook Estate, who lost everything in the Cudlee Creek fire, bar one charred empty barrel, took to social media to ask for help. “Our biggest problem is that we have lost our livelihood.” Vinteloper, left devastated by the same fire, called it “the worst day in our history”.
The Hunter Valley, flanked on two sides by bushfires, is at severe risk of smoke taint, many regions will be suffering from extreme heat and regions like Kangaroo Island could potentially face a loss of tourism, too.
Donating money, purchasing the bushfire affected wineries’ wines and holidaying in wine regions that need support are the best ways to help.
How to Help
Wineries affected by bushfires so far
➼ Tilbrook Estate, Vinteloper, Barristers Block, Tomich Wines, Golding Wines, Anderson Hill Wines, Bird in Hand, Nova Vita Wines, Simon Tolley Wines, New Era Vineyards, Howard Vineyard, ArtWine, Turon Wines, Petaluma, Geoff Weaver, Elderslie Wines, Emmeline Wines, Nine Fingers Wine, Riposte Wines, Courabyra Wines
Wine regions affected
➼ Adelaide Hills, Gippsland, Granite Belt, Hunter Valley, Kangaroo Island, Shoalhaven, Southern Highlands, Tumbarumba
Services & charities
➼ NSW Rural Fire Service, VIC Country Fire Authority, SA Country Fire Service, Red Cross Wildlife
➼ WIRES Wildlife Rescue, RSPCA, WWF Australia, Adelaide Koala Rescue, Port Macquarie Koala Hospital