On 20th December, in a perfect storm of unprecedented 48’ heat and high winds, fires swept through the Adelaide Hills. Despite the heroic and tireless efforts of the CFS, many homes and vineyards were lost. With fires still out of control and current catatsphropic fire conditions continuing, the full devastation of the fires remains unknown. There are reports of over 70 homes lost, and up to a 3rd of vineyards in the region either destroyed or affected. Whilst the economic impact to the region is massive, the emotional toll it has taken on makers, residents and volunteers over the Christmas period is immense.
What has been lost is unquantifiable, and the pain and anguish it has caused the region at Christmas cant be described. The loss of property is one thing, but the loss of the vines and with that potential future earnings whilst they replant/rejuvenate is hard to explain. Like our friends at Vinteloper, most wine makers are small independent business'
Watching the fire sweep through the hills that I had been in less than 24 hours earlier has been heartbreaking and frustrating. We want to do whatever we can to support the region rebuild so this Australia Day at Wander we are using the occasion to raise money for the Adelaide Hills Wine Region Fire Appeal.
Basically from London the best way we can support the region is by drinking their wine. Whilst we are unable to buy direct from the makers from the UK, buying bottles and glasses of wine produced in the Adelaide Hills will in turn require their importers to place an order and will give them much needed cash flow in the next few months.
Over the Australia Day weekend Wander and other restaurants in London will be pouring Adelaide Hills produced wines by the glass, with a £1 from each glass going to the appeal.
At Wander on the 24th & 25th of January we will be serving a special menu and pouring all Aussie wines and then on the 26th will be doing a full day and night of all Aussie food and Adelaide Hills produced wine with proceeds going towards the appeal. Bookings can be made at www.wanderrestaurant.com/reservations
Spaces are limited and we realise that there will be a lot of people who will want to help but are unable to attend on the evening. So there will be also the ability to donate separately to the event. For each £10 donated we will allocate a ticket in a raffle with a variety of prizes from various Aussies around London. Prizes include wine, gift vouchers, t-shirts etc. Lots of other restaurants are getting involved and we will update with new info ASAP.
We are setting this up through Crowdfunder so that all proceeds can be transferred directly to the offical Adelaide Hills Wine Region Appeal ( https://au.gofundme.com/f/adelaide-hills-wine-region-fire-appeal ) once the event is completed. This will be an effort that will be continuing over the next few months whilst the region rebuilds and the funds raised will basically go to the affected growers. How this will work is still to be determined but it could be through the payment of technical advice for individual vineyards/growers, it could be infrastructure purchases like fencing, irrigation or vineyard cuttings. They will work with a local committee and the state government to make sure the funds are allocated fairly and hopefully growers and producers like Vinteloper will accept our assistance. If you are keen to help out in another way the RFS has a list of other fundraising initiatives on their website https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/news-and-media/general-news/how-you-can-help
The region will rebuild, but it will take time, energy and resources. We hope that over the next month we can raise money and awareness that helps to make that process a little easier.
Every little bit helps.