Event get­ting bet­ter with age

McIvor Times - - HEATHCOTE WINE AND FOOD FESTIVAL - By LACH­LAN DURLING

HEATH­COTE Wine and Food Fes­ti­val will cel­e­brate its 17th year when winer­ies from across the re­gion show­case their pas­sion­ately crafted fine and pre­mium wines at the show­grounds on Oc­to­ber 6 and 7.

The show­case of the re­gion’s ma­jor in­dus­try will at­tract thou­sands of peo­ple from around Aus­tralia for one of Vic­to­ria’s sig­na­ture re­gional wine events. Many will be fes­ti­val reg­u­lars who have be­come en­thu­si­as­tic am­bas­sadors for the Heath­cote wine re­gion, renowned for its stun­ning shi­raz re­leases and now carv­ing an ex­cit­ing rep­u­ta­tion for Mediter­ranean-style reds and other va­ri­eties.

And join­ing them will be first-time vis­i­tors eager to ex­pe­ri­ence a week­end in Shi­raz Heaven, ar­riv­ing on spe­cial buses from Mel­bourne and Bendigo and in groups of fam­ily and friends. It’s their chance to be among the first to sam­ple new re­lease wines from the Heath­cote re­gion and learn more about wines that have re­cently achieved suc­cess in in­ter­na­tional and na­tional awards.

The show­grounds will be trans­formed into a stun­ning fam­ily-friendly vil­lage set­ting in the lead-up to the fes­ti­val cel­e­bra­tions, a con­trast to the first fes­ti­val 17 years ago, which fea­tured a hand­ful of winer­ies in the court­yard of a lo­cal restau­rant.

The fes­ti­val has grown with the wine re­gion’s rep­u­ta­tion. In­ter­na­tional aware­ness of the Heath­cote brand owes as much to the pioneers of the in­dus­try in the re­gion as it does to to­day’s wine­mak­ers and vi­gnerons.

Heath­cote Wine­grow­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion mem­bers put many hours into plan­ning and stag­ing an event that does so much for the lo­cal econ­omy. Ac­com­mo­da­tion is of­ten booked out a year in ad­vance.

Bec Allen, Lucy Baker, Beth Crocker, Paige Free­man­tle, Jess Hen­im­ing and Casey Wright at last year’s fes­ti­val.

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