New chap­ter opens for win­ery

Harvey-Waroona Reporter - - FRONT PAGE - Pic­ture: Sam Gibbs

Drakes­brook Fine Wines has of­fi­cially re­opened its cel­lar door af­ter the prop­erty was de­stroyed in the 2016 Wa­roona-Yar­loop bush­fires. Owner Bernie Wor­thing­ton and his wife Pa­tri­cia had been liv­ing in the cel­lar un­til the launch and are eager to start a new chap­ter for the award-win­ning win­ery.

Al­most three years since it was wiped out in the 2016 Wa­roona-Yar­loop bush­fires, Drakes­brook Fine Wines has opened its new cel­lar door af­ter un­of­fi­cially op­er­at­ing out of a garage.

Bernie Wor­thing­ton said he and wife Pa­tri­cia were liv­ing in the cel­lar at the time of the fires be­cause the house had not yet been built and they con­tin­ued to live there un­til a few weeks ago.

Mr Wor­thing­ton did not mind liv­ing in the cel­lar, but he said the nov­elty had worn off for his wife.

The pair moved out just be­fore the of­fi­cial open­ing of the cel­lar door, kicked off by the Grapest 5km wine-themed fun run.

This is just the start of a busy sea­son for the win­ery, topped off by a jazz fes­ti­val in March head­lined by leg­endary Perth gui­tarist Hank Marvin.

“We’ve got a long way to go but baby steps, we’ve made the first big step by of­fi­cially open­ing up,” Mr Wor­thing­ton said.

It has been a rocky jour­ney for the pair af­ter plant­ing their first crop in 2000, but Mr Wor­thing­ton said this sea­son was look­ing up.

“Touch wood we don’t have any more fires or smoke be­cause we missed out three years in a row,” he said.

“We were smoked out in ‘15 with the fire on the other side of Wa­roona, burnt out in ‘16 and then in ‘17, although our crop wasn’t that big, we were smoked out by a DPaW burn out near Bod­ding­ton.

Tucked away in the hills above Wa­roona, right around the cor­ner from the al­ways pop­u­lar Lake Navarino, is where the Wor­thing­tons have been pro­duc­ing their award-win­ning wine.

“It’s a re­ally unique spot ... even peo­ple in Wa­roona don’t know that this is up here,” Bernie said.

“We’re go­ing to try and get lo­cals to come up here and be our ad­vo­cates, be proud of the lo­cal wine and hav­ing a win­ery here.”

Drakes­brook Fine Wines owner Bernie Wor­thing­ton in the new cel­lar door.

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