The Island Estate Vineyards
The Islander Estate is operated by French ‘flying winemaker’ Jacques Lurton and Yale Norris. Their cellar door and winery were spared but their Bark Hut Road property suffered a catastrophic loss.
“The fire decimated
our farm, house, sheds, infrastructure such as equipment, nets, our office,
wine lab, irrigation… all the things you need to run a winery,” Norris says.
“The winery was spared
and we have stock to sell and staff to look after. As business owners, we have
to make sure our people stay employed, that is more important than anything.
“The vineyard was
cooked and it will take a huge replacement of vines, it will take us years, so
if people support us now, we will be able to keep our employees [on].
“We’d love people to
come visit our cellar door but we [are] also online and are happy to ship a
dozen or a single bottle of wine.
“People are opening
their wallets which is wonderful – as a business and a community we can
rebuild, we are resilient, help us be resilient, don’t forget about us.
Jane and Justin Harman’s Central Market stall is a smart destination if you want to support KI but can’t get to the island, with a wide range sourced directly from the island’s producers.
“The team is also working to assess what’s available after the fires and creating recovery packs containing items from producers who need support. The situation will keep changing but the recovery packs may feature products from KI Source, one of the premier catering companies on the island, which has had most of their catering jobs cancelled for the next few months. Producing these products is their only cash flow for now. At least one of their employees has lost everything.
“KI Oats narrowly escaped but their neighbouring farms who supply them were decimated.”