The Barossa was hit by a severe hailstorm this morning with winemakers and grapegrowers currently assessing damage to vineyards.
Some northern parts of the Adelaide Hills including Gumeracha and Kersbrook were also affected by hail.
The hailstorm was accompanied by torrential rain with reports of 20mm in ten minutes.
The Advertiser is reporting that the storm has caused tens of millions of dollars damage to vineyards, market gardens, orchards and grain crops.
Henschke Wines said it was closing its Eden Valley cellar door for the day “to begin the clean-up”.
Izway Wines said on Instagram, “And in two minutes the whole season changed.”
Paisley Wines said, “Destructive hailstorm has hit the Barossa.
“Derek and I are out examining the damage.
“Derek doesn’t think he has ever seen an event like this.”
Henschke photo on Instagram.
Photo: Jason Barrette, Seppeltsfield.
Rusden Wines said on Instagram, “Well there’s oversupply sorted for 2022 vintage.
“Like a battalion of AR15’s opened fire.”
Paulmara Estates said, “Ten minutes of destruction… and at least 30 percent of next year’s crop gone.”
Angaston restaurant Casa Carboni said on Instagram, “The hail damage in our region will be devastating.
“A quick look around Angaston and it looks like a shredder has gone through all the trees – the veggie patch looks like a blender attacked it.
“Can only imagine grapevines and fruit trees.”
The Eden Valley didn’t escape damage either.
Heathvale Wines said, “That was surreal. First the house went dark, then it started.
“10.28am hail and by 10.46am all finished including our crop.”
Radar image of the hailstorm passing through the Barossa and the Adelaide Hills.
The Cutting Barossa said, “An eerie morning, followed by an incredible hailstorm.
“The devastating effects will be felt by many a grape and crop grower across the region.”
Tenafeate Creek Wine at One Tree Hill said on Instagram, “Absolutely bloody devastated.
“Our thoughts go out to all the grapegrowers and winemakers.”
Tenafeate Creek has already had a tough year, being at the centre of a major Covid cluster earlier this year, forcing the temporary closure of the cellar door.
The vineyard at Tenafeate Creek Wine was smashed by hailstones.
Hail damage at Dell’uva Wines this morning.
Nicki Robins, viticultural development manager for the Barossa Grape & Wine Association told WBM this afternoon that some areas of Barossa have been hit quite hard, while others not as bad.
“So far it looks most prevalent east and west of Tanunda and out to Seppeltsfield,” she says.
“The size of the hailstones varied from a few millimetres to as large as a 20 cent piece.
“Young vines and cane-pruned vines are more vulnerable due to the more open canopy and less shoots carrying the crop.
“Shoots are bruised, so how the bruising plays in the next week or so out will determine the extent of the damage.”
Today’s hail appeared as a sinister-looking long black band on the BOM radar, stretching from the northern Barossa to the Adelaide Hills.
The Bureau of Meteorology issued hailstorm warnings yesterday and again this morning.
In a bizarre twist, the storm passed as quickly as it appeared, then the sun came out and there were clear blue skies.
It was all as if nothing had happened.
Running With Bulls photo on Instagram.
Today’s weather event follows a similar hailstorm in the Hills on 28 September, but it was a very narrow band with only limited damage reported to vines in Balhannah and Oakbank.
In that downpour Balhannah recorded more than 80mm of rain in one hour.
It’s been a trying growing season for many wine producers so far with some areas of Clare hit by frost last week.
The Barossa has been one of the hardest-hit regions by the tariffs introduced by China on Australian wine.
There will be a lot of downward pressure on Barossa grape prices for the 2022 vintage.
WBM’s thoughts are with those affected by this latest challenge for the Australian wine industry.
Main photo: Izway Wines on Instagram.