Tamar riesling to aid bushfire victims

A TWO-TONNE donation of grapes has given wine enthusiasts the chance to happily sip on a quality drop in the name of Dunalley's bushfire victims.

When Grindelwald former winemaker Steve Hyde caught wind of plans to leave a crop of Tamar Valley riesling grapes, he said he saw an opportunity to help.

The crop was to be left through the proposed sale of Brown Brothers' Tamar Ridge facility at Rosevears, however, the move was cancelled and the grapes were kept.

``I thought I'd hit a dead-end and the idea would just fizzle,'' Dr Hyde said on Friday.

However, the company donated two tonnes of its 2013 riesling grapes from its Kayena facility, which have been used to make wine that will now support Southern farmers and winemakers affected by the 2013 fires.

``We now have, with the help of local members of the wine fraternity, the outstanding 2013 Bushfire Riesling - a classic cool-climate style,'' Dr Hyde said.

The drop has been critiqued by recognised wine writer Max Allen and Tasmanian wine pioneer Andrew Pirie, who commended its citrus taste and potential for ageing. 

The Rotary Club of Central Launceston is selling bottles for $25, or $250 a case, with $15 from each bottle sold going to Red Cross Dunalley Appeal.

``We have made 100 cases, we're hoping to raise $15,000 for the appeal,'' Dr Hyde said.

He said the wine was bottled two weeks ago and made by Invermay's Bass Fine Wines.

For more information about the Bushfire Riesling go to www.rccl.org.au.

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