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!

Photo: Rob Lee­son

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.

Photo: Rob Lee­son

Poppy Cherry says last year’s show was a high­light of her ca­reer.

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