Mon 28 Nov 2011

Margaret River Bushfire

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McHenry Hohnen view of Margaret River bushfire, Western Australia

View from the winery at McHenry Hohnen

Last week a bushfire burnt through the coastal areas west of Margaret River. The fire is now contained but it destroyed 32 houses and nine holiday chalets with damage to a further 22 homes. Fortunately there was no human cost. The fire was a result of prescribed burns by government agencies which were reignited by very strong northerly winds. The agencies do this in order to reduce fuel loads and provide protection for summer months to local seaside communities.

I have been in touch with a number of The Wine Society’s key suppliers. Moss Wood’s Keith Mugford says “We have been very fortunate and so far we been spared by the weather.  The fires started about 10k south of us and the wind direction blew the flames and smoke away from us.  Most vineyards seem to have been missed.”

McHenry-Hohnen were less fortunate with some damage to 2 hectares of chardonnay in their Burnside vineyard. Winemaker Ryan Walsh explains: “All okay in lives and buildings here just a little chardonnay gone from this year…..There is no long term loss in vines, the loss will only be taken for this coming vintage 2012. The Sauvignon Blanc from Burnside is untouched and looking very good for the coming 2012 vintage. Freya and I live approximately 2km North East from the Burnside vineyard and were evacuated Wednesday to Friday as a precautionary measure. We have now returned. The house is fine.” And Vanya Cullen by text “We r ok, fires are in the south, we r in north, but it is sad.”

Pierre Mansour
Buyer for Australia

Categories : Australia

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