Samuel Leyshon, chief winemaker at Mallaluka, is trying to remain optimistic. After losing the year's harvest due to smoke taint and now battling the repercussions of the coronavirus restrictions, he can still see some humour in 2020.
"One of the funny things about the alcohol industry, maybe it's a sad thing, I'm not sure, is that it's almost immune to economic downturn," he says.
"People still want a glass of wine or a beer or something in these times."
Leyshon has just been named as one of Australia's 50 Young Guns of Wine, the industry's authority on the best young labels and winemakers in the country.
"It's always nice to be recognised," he says. "A long time ago I made a decision not to enter competitions, I was always a bit modest and not very confident but I changed my mind and have had some good results lately.
"It's good for the Canberra district, it's nice to represent and represent the younger winemakers in the region and if I can inspire someone then that's a good thing."
Leyshon said Mallaluka will make a 2020 vintage as he's sourced grapes from South Australia and Victoria.
"We're at about 50 per cent production but we'll make something. We're a small business, it would have been crippling to not do anything.
"I would have had to get a part-time job or something, which isn't the end of the world, but now with this bloody virus that might have been impossible anyway."
He said the most notable change to the virus was restaurants no longer needed wine but people were still ordering online.
"It's always nice to hear what people thinking about the Mallaluka brand, that're we're hard to box in. It's about not doing something that is predictable and common, it's about making people think in a different way, doing things a little left of centre, a little alternative."
YGOW will be hosting several virtual events during May to showcase the top 50 winemakers. The interactive video events will feature the 50 winemakers and other experts, where participants can ask questions live. Beyond interactive, the event will be experiential, whereby people can (if they wish) purchase the wines to be featured in advance of the tasting.
Tickets are free but bookings are essential, as the events will be a private broadcast. Bookings via the events link at younggunofwine.com
You can also vote for Leyshon in the people's choice award at younggunofwine.com