Adelaide Hills Fire Appeal auction

By J'aime Cardillo

8 Apr, 2022

More than 350 fine wines are going to be auctioned off to raise funds for wineries affected by the Cudlee Creek bushfires.

The Adelaide Hills Wine Region is auctioning off over 350 bottles of exceptional wines to raise money for the wineries and growers impacted by the 2019 Cudlee Creek bushfires. 

While the pandemic and recent floods are dominating the news, many of the Adelaide Hills wineries are still suffering from the devastating fires more than two years on.

Darren Golding of Golding Wines says “The fire wrecked 30 years of work in a day. We had to start again, and it’s not easy to do that. It’s not just the physical hard work, but the huge emotional cost of starting over.” The fire burnt through 90 per cent of the vineyard at Golding Wines. “We are part way, probably about 50 per cent, through replanting our vineyards. It will take another five years to get back to full production.”

Fire at the Golding Wines vineyardFire in the vineyard at Golding Wines.

Vinteloper was one of the hardest hit, with Dave Bowley fearing the end for the Adelaide Hills winery. “With no grapes to make wine, and no discernible vineyard left standing on our property, we had to buy grapes for the 2020 vintage and we’ll continue to buy grapes for many more seasons. Getting some funds from the Fire Appeal has enabled us to rebuild trellis and infrastructure and just keep the business going.” 

The Adelaide Hills Wine Region, the body representing winemakers and grape growers in the Adelaide Hills, established a Fire Appeal to support local growers and producers and fund recovery efforts. When the Fire Appeal called for Australian wineries to donate wines to the auction, names including Vasse Felix, Yalumba, Rockford, K1 and La Prova responded in support.

Ash covered handThe auction will begin on April 18, and funds raised will be donated to the Fire Appeal.

Australian wineries have donated 357 bottles of wine from regions including the Adelaide Hills, the Barossa Valley, the Clare Valley and McLaren Vale, as well as some bottles from neighbours in Western Australia and a Rhône Hermitage all the way from France. 

Tim Bartsch from Bartsch Vignerons is urging people bidding for wines at the auction be generous, and think of the bid as a donation rather than a purchase.

The auction will be held through Wickmans Fine Wine Auctions from April 18–25. It’s free to join, but you must register online.