Heathcote wineries prepare to show-off their wares

By Country News

The annual Heathcote on Show festival is back for its 14th year, firmly establishing itself as one of Victoria’s most popular food and wine festivals.

‘‘Our wineries, community and traders are gearing up to showcase the very best that Heathcote has to offer,’’ Heathcote Tourism and Development president Peter Maine said.

‘‘It’s all about experiencing the very best that our award-winning artisan winemakers, gourmet chefs and craft brewers have to offer, as well enjoying our many recreational attractions like the newly-opened walking and cycling 50km O’Keefe Rail Trail that runs from Bendigo to Heathcote.’’

Throughout the Queen’s Birthday long weekend in June, some of the region’s many wineries will unveil new release wines, giving visitors a unique one-on-one experience to meet with winemakers and producers.

‘‘Our wineries and vineyards are a most significant contributor to the local economy and help to increase awareness of Heathcote as a great tourist destination,’’ Mr Maine said.

Other Heathcote on Show attractions will include Burlesque De Vive, a sassy, wicked burlesque show in the Toolleen Pub’s rustic tin shed; the Heathcote Supper Club’s Wine, Food and Film Night screening of the acclaimed wine fraud documentary Sour Grapes; and the High Street Wine, Food and Fun Festival with its market stalls, a vintage car show, musicians and children’s entertainment.

Based on the increased popularity of last year’s event, Heathcote Tourism and Development is expecting to attract more than 6000 visitors this year.

A bus service will operate for travellers from Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station and from Bendigo to Heathcote.

And a regular ‘hop-on-hop-off’ shuttle bus will run from the Heathcote Visitor Information Centre to wineries and cellar doors throughout the weekend.

■Heathcote on Show will be held on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend from June 10 to 12.

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