Vineyard recovered after 2005 fire

VINTAGE: Sarah Arbon and Brian Turvey of Lincoln Estate Wines show off some of the grapes picked in this year's harvest.
VINTAGE: Sarah Arbon and Brian Turvey of Lincoln Estate Wines show off some of the grapes picked in this year's harvest.

A RECORD harvest has been completed at Lincoln Estate Wines this week, nine years after the devastating Black Tuesday bushfires destroyed the vineyard in January, 2005.

The Turvey family, who began growing their first grapes in 1997, are ecstatic with this year's harvest and said finally the winery was back to its best.

In 2005, the Black Tuesday bushfires destroyed the entire vineyard, as well as fencing and other farm materials, and also killed 400 animals within the property.

Since then the family has been slowly rebuilding the vineyards.

Brian Turvey explained how devastating the fires were and how much it meant to finally be growing a full vineyard worth of grapes again.

"The fires destroyed every vine, we had to cut them off at the ground and retrain them from scratch," he said.

"It wasn't just the vines, all the drippers melted and posts and wires were damaged too."

The fire cost the winery three years of harvest and was estimated to have destroyed more than 200 tonnes of grapes.

Today, the winery can once again boast 33 hectares of vineyards, consisting of 88,000 plants and a total of 125 kilometres of vines.

This year the winery has grown 200 tonnes of red grapes and 25 tonnes of white grapes, which will be used in the winery's next vintage.

Lincoln Estate Wines managing director Kym Turvey along with family members Brian and Simon Turvey have been eagerly anticipating this year's harvest.

Eighty per cent of the grapes harvested by Lincoln Estate is contracted to Penfolds Winery and in recent years have been used in some of that company's most premium wines.

"Penfolds consider our grapes as premium quality, I think last year they were ranked just below Penfolds Grange," Mr Turvey said.

Lincoln Estate Wines exports wine to Asian countries including China, Japan and Thailand, and a large portion is sold locally here in Port Lincoln.

The winery is linked up with the Glen Forrest Tourist Park and manages around seven to eight staff during the harvest period.

Mr Turvey expressed his appreciation for his staff, who worked hard in order to deliver the record harvest.

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