LET’S ENJOY THE SHIRAZZMATAZZ
Don’t miss Heathcote on Show for the best local food and wine
IT’S on again, for young and old.
Heathcote will once again be on show and organisers are expecting crowds to flock to the region for the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.
The wine, food and fun festival is rightly established as one of Victoria’s most popular festivals and local wineries and traders are at-the-ready to show off their wares.
And as with past festivals it’s about more than just the Shiraz.
Heathcote Tourism and Development president Peter Maine said the range of wineries, restaurants, pubs, breweries and natural attractions is sure to draw people in.
“We’re expecting more than 7000 people to come to the Heathcote region over the three days and we want to show what an attractive location it is,” he said.
“It’s about giving them something which is uniquely Heathcote and we shouldn’t shy away from that.”
On show are award-winning artisan winemakers, a new craft brewery, recreational attractions and lots of entertainment for children of all ages.
Award-winning cellar doors, wineries, cheese and wine-matching and wine-making master classes, a wine glass experience, vertical tastings, a pop-up cellar door in High St and plenty of live music head the bill.
“People need to have a unique experience and we’re seeing that through the cellar doors in the area,” Mr Maine said.
“They have a point of difference because 99 per cent of the time the person who is on the other side serving you the tastings is the one who has been working to grow the grapes and make the wine.”
Mr Maine said it’s all about providing the experience rather than just delivering the product.
“We’re looking at the event more holistically, however there’s no doubt Heathcote rides on the back of Shiraz,” he said.
“But if you look now at the diversity and variety that wineries are creating, it’s not just about the Shiraz.
“For any destination to be a tourist destination there’s a number of boxes you need to tick, going to cellar doors is a given in the region and people are looking for experiences.” And it’s experiences they’ll get. Festival attractions include the return of Poppy Cherry’s Burlesque De
Vine, a sassy burlesque dinner show at Silver Spoon Estate and the Heathcote Supper Club’s film night screening of the acclaimed documentary The Somm.
It follows the attempts of four candidates to pass the extremely difficult Master Sommelier examination, a test with one of the lowest pass rates in the world.
Then there’s Munari Wines’ weekend of wine and music and the High St Wine Festival with its market stalls, vintage tractors, musicians, entertainment and an animal farm for the kids.
A regular hop-on hop-off shuttle bus will run from the Heathcote Visitor Information Centre to wineries and cellar doors on Saturday and Sunday.
For more information visit heathcoteonshow.com.au
BEFORE coming to Heathcote for the On Show long weekend, performer Poppy Cherry took the time to answer a few questions.
Being that we’re in Heathcote, favourite wine? I do love a good red, it’s tough to choose, but I love Spanish food so I’m going to say the Silver Spoon Estate No Bull Tempranillo.
Where do you train? While I’ve been performing burlesque for almost 10 years now, the past four and a half years my focus has been on running and teaching at the Maison Burlesque School in Richmond. As well as being headmistress of the school I also teach Feather Fan Dance and Bump, Grind and Tease.
Best place you’ve performed? I've been lucky enough to perform on stages of all shapes and sizes around Australia. A highlight for me was just over a week ago, getting to MC a burlesque show for approximately 600 patrons on board the P&O Pacific Aria cruise ship! I used to have a residency at Burlesque Bar where I would sometimes perform in four shows a week — it was a small but vibrant space where we all felt like it was our personal Disneyland to run around and play! Funniest place I’ve performed would definitely be having to do an unexpected improv act on a staircase at a small bar when their music system stopped working.
The highlights of your travels? I loved travelling to Vanuatu and Noumea for the recent Burlesque Cruise, I’ve also performed at various cities around Australia, and lots of country gigs — country shows are often my favourite as they have such fun and generous crowds! Last year’s show at Toolleen Tin Shed was a definite highlight.
What does it take to be a good burlesque performer? A great performer is one who can break that fourth wall to connect with their audience to tease and entertain them, whether that be in a highly energetic way or something slow and sultry that leaves the audience wanting more. I also love when a performer can play on traditional themes by adding their own unique or surprising twists as well!.
What do you like about Heathcote/The On Show weekend? Wine, food and gorgeously costumed showgirls in a beautiful country setting?! What’s not to like? The trouble might be getting us to go home to Melbourne again!
Heathcote Tourism Development president Peter Maine, Burlesque De Vine performer Maple Rose and Silver Spoon Estate Winery’s Peter Young are getting ready for the long weekend, when more than 7000 people are expected to flock to the region.
Poppy Cherry says last year’s show was a highlight of her career.