February 2019: The Tingha Plateau bushfire storms through the Topper’s Mountain vineyard, just hours before the start of the harvest. In the days following, the ash settled and we were able to take stock of the damage wrought by the flames. Kilometres of irrigation drip lines were melted and hundreds of hardwood posts were reduced to charcoal. Over 3000 vines (around 18% of the vineyard) were killed. The entire 2019 vintage (bar around 675kg harvested from the hill) was unusable due to smoke taint.
Then the real work began.
We started replanting in December 2019. Again, Mother Nature had other plans, with a 6 month long drought wiping out 50% of the newly planted baby vines. A cold spring followed in 2020, postponing the resurrection efforts even further. But, there is hope!
Thanks to the generous support of My Vine Club members, we’ve replanted (however many baby vines?) across 5 varieties. This has given us a great head start, but there are still over 2000 baby vines up for adoption across some of Topper’s most rare and iconic varieties, including: