Keep them pouring
If there’s one good thing to come out of the devastating bushfires and ongoing drought, it’s been the huge amount of support Australians have shown for those affected.
As campaigns such as #emptyesky, #spendwiththem and #bookthemout have shown, when it comes to helping those affected by both fires and drought, spending your money in regional towns is a massive help. The same goes for affected wine regions; producers need your help to keep their wines pouring.
But first some perspective. Another consequence of the fires has been some exaggerated reporting, however, in terms of the damage to wine regions, Australian Grape and Wine Incorporated explains, “only 1,500 hectares or approximately 1% of Australian vineyards are expected to be in the bushfire affected areas.” There are the effects of smoke taint to also consider, but again, it’s a small proportion of producers who have had to abandon the 2020 vintage.
The upshot of all this is there will be plenty of outstanding Australian wine out of the 2020 vintage, however, production will be down for some. Also, coronavirus has impacted on tourism numbers, so your help is still very much needed.
As Tony Battaglene, Australian Grape and Wine Chief Executive explains, “We need donations to the relief funds and support for our emergency services, but we also really need consumers to keep buying wine and to visit the regions to get the cashflow back into the communities.”
Get out and explore
Fire-affected areas open for business and waiting for your visit include Adelaide Hills and Kangaroo Island, East Gippsland, Tumbarumba and Canberra District. Keep an eye out for our wine traveller stories in upcoming issues, where we head to affected areas, catch up with locals and keep you up to date with the best in food and wine.
While we can help as tourists, Australian Grape and Wine is also calling on government support for short-term rebuilding efforts, along with longer term tourism, as well as research initiatives, in order to create a more resilient industry.
If you’re not lucky enough to be planning a holiday, there’s another way to help. When you’re eating out, choose Australian wines off the wine list – this not only helps out wine producers, but sends a message to restaurateurs that we love our local drops!