Twisted Gum Wines owner Tim Coelli was taking no chances yesterday. Photo: Hayden Smith / Stanthorpe Border Post
Twisted Gum Wines owner Tim Coelli was taking no chances yesterday. Photo: Hayden Smith / Stanthorpe Border Post Hayden Smith

Damage minimised at winery

DESPITE losing some of his vineyard, Twisted Gum Wines owner Tim Coelli is counting himself lucky.

The widespread bushfire was sparked at a neighbouring Ballandean property on Monday.

Backed by a strong south-westerly wind, it quickly gained momentum and by Tuesday afternoon was worryingly close to Mr Coelli's home and vineyard.

Mr Coelli said he was fortunate that an acre of chardonnay grapes were all that was damaged.

"The damage was minor compared to what could have happened if the wind was slightly different and the fire crews hadn't arrived so quickly," Mr Coelli said.

Eukey resident Trish Armstrong said Tuesday night was nerve-racking at times.

"At about 7.30 we were a bit worried - but then the wind changed," Mrs Armstrong said.

"The ridge behind us was red, and we did have embers in our yard at one point."

Her husband Jim said they were well equipped for bushfires.

"We've got sprinklers on the roof and we do a lot of other preparation," Mr Armstrong said.

Stanthorpe Border Post

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