Wed 09 Jan 2013

Australia Fires: News From Tasmania


Amid a severe heatwave, fires broke out in Tasmania last Thursday. Fortunately no deaths have been reported but over 100 buildings have been destroyed and many communities affected. More fires have since occurred in New South Wales.

Our thoughts are with all those living and working there who are affected. Upon hearing the news from Tasmania, I contacted Claudio Radenti, winemaker behind The Society’s Exhibition Tasmanian Chardonnay, whose family live on the beautiful Freycinet vineyard on the east coast. Thankfully he and his family are all safe. Here is what he wrote back to us:

Hi Pierre,
Thank you so much for thinking of us. We are all safe and out of harm’s way. Fortunately for us the winds pushed the fire away. It made us all get serious about preparing ourselves for fire fighting though. I had my house gutters all filled with water; generator ready in case of power failure; farm fire truck ready for spot fires; petrol powered fire pump also ready; water tanks full; three fire hose reels at winery ready; few precious things packed and ready in case of evacuation. Had the winds favoured our direction it could have easily escalated into a bad situation.

Danger has eased on the east coast near us now but other parts of Tassie are still burning out of control. Hopefully a decent rain is not far away.
Claudio & Lindy

Categories : Australia


  1. Terry OLBY says:

    I am so glad to hear that Claudio And everyone at Freycinet are not affected by the
    Fires and hope that they remain so.
    you will remember that Madge and I visited them about 3years ago so please
    Could you give them our best wishes and hope that the fires do not reach them.

    • Pierre Mansour says:

      Thanks for your message, Terry. I have forwarded this onto to Claudio.

    • Pierre Mansour says:

      Claudio’s response:

      ‘Hi Pierre, Thankyou for passing on Terry and Madge’s kind message to us, and please do pass on to them our heartfelt thanks for their kindness. We do remember them fondly.
      All fire danger has subsided in Tasmania now and the usual peak tourist activities have resumed. One must remain vigilant though as it would not take much for a fire to escalate out of control.’

  2. IAN SKELTON says:

    Greetings from Tasmania!
    We are lucky enough to visit this beautiful island each UK winter to see our daughter and family and have come to love the wines of Tasmania. We were up at Freycinet just over a week ago and Claudio’s wines are always a favourite of ours. We now champion Tassie wines back home amongst our friends.
    We recently spent a weekend in the north of the island, [size of Eire!], and visited half a dozen vineyards that were new to us. We were especially struck by one run by husband and wife team, Peter and Loraine Kossman at Chartley Estate. No cellar door and so we had to book to taste their wines.Their vineyard is relatively new, [under 20 years], and is located overlooking the northern Tamar Valley.
    All their wines, [like most producers in Tasmania], are made off site at one of the few winemaking facilities. They have a range of cool climate white wines, [including two versions of Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio], Pinot Noir, a botrytis sweet and 2 sparkling wines made in the traditional method.
    I was struck by the attention to detail and care they take with the vineyard management and fruit production. Much of their production goes overseas, mainly China!
    Has Pierre Mansour come across this vineyard? I do recommend he makes contact on his next trip as I believe these wines would appeal to Members.
    Ian Skelton

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