It's been nearly two years since the Dunns Road fire ravaged parts of the region, destroying homes and livelihoods, but one tight-knit family have worked hard to bring their business back to life.
Johansen Wines was started by Heather and Robert Johansen, and now the Tumbarumba vineyards are run by the pair alongside their daughter and son-in-law Helle and Thomas Southwell.
When the raging blaze hit their property, they lost about 80 per cent of their vines across two vineyards, and it's been 20 months of hard work to rebuild from the ground up.
"We have chainsawed out all of those, and fortunately, we had very little plant deaths," Mr Southwell said.
"The plants have recovered, but we have to regrow them from the ground up.
"We have replaced all the vineyard infrastructure including posts, trellises, irrigation systems - it's been a mammoth task.
"It's taken six of us full-time for that 20 months, which has been difficult, but we are now looking at the vineyard, and it's probably been the best it has ever looked."
Mr Southwell said it doesn't feel that long ago that they banded together to start rebuilding the farm and the business, adding it was incredible they could reopen so soon.
He said there had been a lot of support from the global community, including through people buying wine and sponsoring vineyard posts, so they could not wait to welcome visitors with open arms.
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"it's sort of scary because it's official that fire period is over for us, and it's business as usual again," Mr Southwell said.
To celebrate the reopening of their Cellar Door and their 2021 vintage, they are hosting a Picnic in the Paddock day.
"We are redoing the amenities blocks, putting in a new deck and opening on October 30," Mr Southwell said.
"We are really excited to have people back at the farm and showing people our new vintages after the fire.
"We are wanting to show off our region and it's a really cool way to do it whilst remaining COVID-safe."
Mr Southwell encouraged Wagga residents to plan a weekend trip in Tumbarumba and its surroundings to support local businesses hit by the bushfires and then the pandemic.
"Obviously, the bushfire was awful to go through, but then OCVID on top of that," he said. "We are only an hour and 15 up the road, and it's an amazing day trip and even better overnighter."
For more information on Picnic in the Paddock event on October 30, go to the Johansen Wine's website or search for them on social media.
For more information on Picnic in the Paddock, click here.
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