Clonakilla has announced that it will not make wine from any vineyard in New South Wales this year.

The decision was made at a Clonakilla board meeting on Saturday.

“Analysis of ripening grapes from our estate vineyard in Murrumbateman and the vineyards of our longstanding grape suppliers in the Hilltops region around the town of Young has revealed unacceptably high levels of smoke taint across all varieties and all vineyard sites,” Tim Kirk says.

“It is important to the Kirk family, to our growers and to the entire Clonakilla team that anyone who purchases our wine can have confidence that the Clonakilla label on a bottle is a guarantee of high quality.

“Having experienced a barrage of smoke from fires on every side this Summer, that is not a guarantee we can deliver from the 2020 vintage.

“We want to assure all our friends and supporters that we will not run out of wine. Being an agricultural business, we know we are entirely dependant on the weather. Losing a vintage is always a possibility. We have wines in reserve, stored in our museum cellar in advance for a situation just like this.

“The 2018 and 2019 vintages in particular delivered many wonderful wines which will find their way on to the market over the next eighteen months. There will be enough Clonakilla to go around!”

Tim says the cellar door will continue to be open every day for tastings and sales.

“The severe drought and unprecedented bush fire emergency has made 2020 the toughest year in living memory for the Australian wine industry and for Australian farming in general,” Tim says.

“For Clonakilla the issue is smoke taint. It affects one vintage only. Winemaking will resume as normal in 2021.

“Our hearts go out to growers in wine regions around the country who have suffered more devastating effects from the direct impact of bush fire, notably in the Adelaide Hills and Tumbarumba.

“Wherever you are, now is a great time to support your local wine industry!”

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