Swan River wine region declared natural disaster zone
Perth's Swan Valley wine region has been declared a natural disaster zone by the WA Government following severe flooding over the weekend.
Premier Colin Barnett told ABC News: "That does trigger both the Commonwealth and State governments working together to first immediately repair infrastructure damage which is principally roads and bridges.
"There is assistance in the form of some grants to assist in cleaning up any debris particularly if there is health risk attached to it and also there is the ability Among those affected is The Upper Reach Winery - its vineyards have been completely flooded.
Owners Laura and Derek Pearse woke up on Saturday morning to find most of the Shiraz crop under water and they estimate they've lost about half of the crop.
"We were really looking forward to this and so were a bit disappointed, it will be memorable now for other reasons," Ms Pearse said.
Colby Quirk, a senior winemaker at Sitella vineyard, told Perth Now: "We've got $100,000-$300,000 worth of fruit that can’t be turned into wine. It's heart-wrenching. Where the vines are underwater, that is just a write-off."
However, he managed to save his white grapes.
"We worked tirelessly to pick our white grapes, picking for three days straight," he told ABC News.
Sandalford Wines' Grant Brinklow said fruit splitting following the heavy rains would affect most growers in the area.
“Up until the rain everyone was very excited because it was shaping as a vintage vintage," he said.
Picture: Upper Reach Winery