The Shoalhaven Coast Winter Wine Festival is always held on the June long weekend and becomes more popular every year.
It attracts thousands of visitors to the region with participating wineries hosting everything from degustation dinners to a la carte, freshly shucked oysters, home-made pies, sausage rolls and soups, cheese platters, wood-fired pizzas and barbecues.
All the wineries recognize the importance of the event and go out of their way to prepare something special for visitors over the three days. Visitors buy a festival glass at the first winery they visit which then entitles them to free tastings at all other participating wineries.
At the region’s most awarded winery, Coolangatta Estate, visitors washed down fresh oysters with a glass of the region's most highly rated Semillon.
Nearby, at the smaller Roselea Vineyard at Gerringong, a local a singer/songwriter performed for guests while they enjoyed an oyster bar, a range of chocolates and award winning sparkling wine.
At Yarrawa Estate in Kangaroo Valley a barbecue pack was available for lunch. The winery also hosted a festival dinner at Moss Vale’s Bistro 146.
Oysters were again on the menu at Silos Estate along with cheese from a local maker. Visitors also learnt the art of winemaking in the Silo's Barrel Room or took in a helicopter ride over the region.
The Hot Potato jazz band was back by popular demand at Two Figs Winery, where the pizza oven was fired up along with home-made sausage rolls and cheese platters.
Cambewarra Estate showcased its popular new frizzante style wines. It also featured beers from Hop Dog Brewery and Wagyu beef sliders.
Cupitt’s Winery near us in Ulladulla had a four-course winemaker’s lunch.
Bawley Vale Estate just down the road organised 'Rock’n’Roll in the Vines' and hosted a five-course wine appreciation dinner at Millard's Cottage Restaurant.
For the first time our friends at Fern Gully Winery did not participate. They have now semi retired and are winding down their wine growing activities.
The annual Milton Scarecrow Festival took place on the Saturday.
As the event draws near, vintage scarecrows pop up all over the village and Saturday sees the town filled with straw-filled characters of all shapes and sizes. There is a load of family fun, with games, rides, competitions and entertainment happening during the day.
The scarecrow judging took place at midday with the public deciding the winners from the residential, community, business and school categories.
This year there were prizes on offer for the best dressed live scarecrow with a fashion parade of contestants held in the morning.
So it was, as always, a busy time in our area.
Visitors experienced the full spectrum of South Coast weather over the three days.
Saturday: Warm and sunny, not a cloud in the sky (winter doesn't get much better than this).
Sunday: Cold and overcast
Monday: Howling westerly gale.