The Adelaide Hills was one of the areas affected in the summer bushfires that hit South Australia. Like me, you’ve probably donated or helped out in some way to at least one of the charities or community services all helping the many areas affected in Australia. The way I like to really feel that I’ve helped out at a grass roots level has been to buy from the towns and businesses affected. A very easy thing to do either by visiting the places directly or buying online or looking for products when you shop.
The Adelaide Hills is a well known wine region and it’s estimated that approximately one third of the production, over 1100 hectares of grapevines, were burnt. There were around 60 vineyards affected and of those, about 10 were wine producers. Of those 10 were 3 who had their wineries on site. Those were Tilbrook Estate, New Era Vineyard and Leland Estate which lost between 75% to 100% of their vineyards not to mention their wineries burnt down and most of their wines in stock were lost too. In the case of Tilbrook Estate, all of their wines including in vat and barrels was completely destroyed therefore they haven’t been able to capitalise on the generosity of the public without products to sell. They have been able, through the generosity of other wineries, to sell donated wines under the label ‘Hope’. (Even their label stock has gone). What people can do to help them is to actually visit their pop up cellar door at the vineyard while they go through the rebuilding stage. You can find them at 1856 Lobethal Road (halfway between Lobethal and Lenswood), and enjoy the cellar door which is temporarily set up in a shipping container. The future goal is to build an environmentally friendly cellar door next door to the shipping container so you will be able to see progress in the coming months.
To help those hardest hit wineries and others affected here are some names to look for:
- New Era Vineyards
- Leland Estate
- Anderson Hill
- Simon Tolley Wines
- Barristers Block
- Tilbrook Estate
- Golding Estate
- Tomich Wines
This is by no means an exhaustive list and frankly any Adelaide Hills wine purchases will help out as they are all looking after each other at this time. Apple and pear growers were also affected so look for any fruit grown in the Adelaide Hills and the Lenswood and Cudlee Creek areas in particular.
An even better idea is to plan a visit to the region and see for yourself why this area is so special, with its spectacular far reaching views, cellar doors that are friendly and offer top food from platters to restaurant quality meals, tapas style small plates and wood oven pizzas. Paying a visit to the three hardest hit wineries (Tilbrook Estate, Leland Estate and New Era Vineyards) in particular, will do a power of good.
A few places I never hesitate to take visitors too are: Pike and Joyce Winery, Anderson Hill, Petaluma, Mt Lofty Ranges Vineyard, Bird in Hand and Artwine. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed with the venues, the views, food and of course the wine. By visiting and spending with these places you will put a smile on their faces and keep people employed too. All of that for enjoying yourself!
While you’re shopping also keep an eye out for products for our other hard hit area, Kangaroo Island. Here are a few brands that you can assist: Bay of Shoals Wines, Cliffords Honey Farm, Dudley Wines, Emu Ridge Eucalyptus Distillery, False Cape Wines, Kangaroo Island Living Honey, Kangaroo Island Oats and The Islander Estate Vineyards. Again any products that you can purchase from Kangaroo Island producers will help. Please look them up online when you have time.
Happy Touring and Shopping!