Hi everyone, Happy New Year! We hope everyone has had a great start to the year and you are well rested over the holiday period. In Australia, it has been a particularly tough summer with the culmination of a few years of low rainfall and hot days leading to a terrible bushfire season and a continuing drought. At Broke Estate, we are fortunate to have not lost any property directly from the fires, with the fires reaching only a short distance away. We have however received some bad news this week after receiving results back from the AWRI (Australian Wine Research Institute) lab, confirming smoke taint in our grapes. Hence, we will not be picking this year and there won’t be a 2020 vintage for Broke Estate.

fires at broke estate

Fires in the surrounding mountain ranges, photo taken from the Broke Estate main gate looking towards the cottage

We have made the decision to not pick the grapes as being a small producer, we can’t afford the risk of going ahead with the winemaking process, where we may not be able to sell the final product. It has been a tough decision, but we are lucky compared to some who have lost much more during this terrible bushfire season.


Controlled backburn by the local RFS on Milbrodale Road, this is one of the fires you can see in the photo above

We have had some wonderful customers reach out to us suggesting ideas on what we can do with the grapes, and we really appreciate everyone’s enthusiasm! One of the great suggestions was making jam from the grapes. We love the sound of smokey grape jam, so mum (Bernadette) is going to make some this weekend. We will keep everyone posted on how this goes.

As there have been low levels of feed for our small herd of cattle due to the drought, being able to let the cows into the vineyard to eat the grapes has been one positive out of the situation. We think the cattle are happy as well!

We are looking forward to seeing what other wine producers do with their smoke tainted grapes so we can be better prepared for the future and have the necessary plans in place.

cows in vineyards

Cows in the vineyard eating the Chardonnay grapes

We would like to give a big thank you to all the volunteer firefighters who have sacrificed so much fighting the fires, particularly the Broke RFS who have done an amazing job. You are heroes in our eyes.

Currently in stock on our online store we have the following wines available;

  • 2016 Barbera (low in stock)
  • 2016 Shiraz
  • 2017 Chardonnay
  • 2017 Barbera

We will shortly have available for sale;

  • 2017 Shiraz
  • 2019 Chardonnay

Link to online store here. We appreciate all sales, never underestimate the joy that we receive when we get a new order confirmation email with every sale.

Alex and Laura