Adelaide Hills Wine Region Hit The Hardest In Devastating Australian Wild Fires

Massive wildfires have been raging across Australia since September, killing 24 people and a staggering amount of wildlife (recent estimates include a half billion wild animals). The worst blazes are along the eastern and southern coastal areas where most Australians reside. So far, 12.35 million acres of Australian forest, parks and bushland have been devastated.

Wine regions in Queensland, New South Wales (NSW), South Australia and Victoria have all been affected. This includes Hunter Valley, Canberra, Rutherglen, Gippsland and Adelaide Hills. All face an uncertain 2020 vintage, as the effects of smoke taint and heat on this year’s crop remain unknown.

Vineyard Destruction

South Australia’s Adelaide Hills wine region, was the hardest hit wine region in the country. On December 20th, as temperatures soared to 111°F (43.9°C), a suspected downed power line started a fire in Cudlee Creek that rapidly enveloped between 2,718 and 2,965 acres of the region’s vineyards, destroying around 30% of Adelaide Hills’ production.

The Cudlee Creek fire affected more than 60 growers and producers in the Adelaide Hills. Vinteloper, Tomich Wines, New Era Vineyards, Golding Estate and Barristers Block were among the wineries that sustained the most severe damage. A vast number of those impacted, however, were grape growers who sell their fruit to different wineries.