Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Shoalhaven Coast Wine Festival 2009

Every Queen's birthday long weekend, the Shoalhaven Coast Wine Industry Association holds their winter wine festival. Fifteen wineries in the region (plus a few non members who like to get in on the act) throw open their cellar doors to tasters from Canberra, Sydney and the local area over the three days. In addition to wine, each one usually organises some special activity whether it be an exhibition, special food, entertainment, gourmet food stalls or themed dinners and lunches.
It has become very popular over the years.
Down at our end of the region we have three wineries. Cupitts had an Italian theme going with a long table lunch, a "Slow Food" producers' market and boules on the lawn. Murramarang Vineyard had live jazz and a BBQ lunch. Our friends Max and Glenda at Fern Gully Winery offered wine making tours, seafood platters, cheese plates and delicious local gourmet pies (Atlantic salmon & prawns in creamy leek and Chardonnay sauce or Venison, braised in Chambourcin with field mushrooms). Who could refuse one of each on a cool sunny winter's day washed down with one of Max's reds? There was a steady stream of people on all three days obviously with the same thought.

This year the co-driver was asked to display some of her quilts for a few hours each day at Fern Gully. So we were up early each morning hanging ten examples of her work around the tasting room /winery. In the end, no sales but a lot of well deserved compliments.
Luckily the weather was condusive this year for it to be outdoors. In the past, this particular long weekend was always considered to be a bit of a drought breaker. But as we had had three weeks of rain leading up to the event we knew we would be ok this time.
Last year I did the publicity for the event but this time round I was just a visitor. Did I miss the lead up work, meetings, myriad of phone calls, early morning live radio interviews and press briefings?
In a word....nope!
But I will be putting on my publicity hat again for the South Coast Wine Show that takes place in early 2010.

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