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TO GO WITH STORY “AUSTRALIA-WEATHER-FIRES-WINE” by Amy Coopes
Wine grapes hang on the vines damaged by the bushfires at the De Bortoli winery at Dixons Creek in Victoria’s wine growing area of Yarra Valley, some 80 kilometres north east of Melbourne on February 10, 2009. For Australia’s Yarra Valley winegrowers, the region’s recent devastating wildfires were the final straw. Best known for its pinots and chardonnays, the once-picturesque wine region is now dotted with scorched paddocks and vines. Burnt-out cars on the roadside are a grim testament to those who left their escape much too late. Some 80 wineries were hard-hit, losing vines, sheds, warehouses, machinery and accommodation, yet only three percent of the valley’s 3,000 hectares of vineyards were damaged or destroyed. AFP PHOTO/William WEST (Photo credit should read WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)

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