SERVING up the best country wine tastes and flavours to city-folk and encourage them to take a regional wine-holiday in their own back-yard are two the Sydney Wine Festival’s main attractions.
The first-time event will be held on October 14 and 15 at the Rosehill Racecourse in Sydney offering samples from 60 different wineries and more than 350 wines, laid out from producers throughout regional NSW.
Adding to the festival atmosphere, there will also be live music to entertain wine-lovers and a range of food stalls, including a gourmet food and cheese offering.
Festival Director and founder Damian Percy says the new event is focussed on NSW wines - but it could potentially be replicated to showcase regional wineries in other states, to people living in major capital cities.
“I’ve been working on this for about 18-months now and my wife and I work on it as a team and we hope to make this a flagship event for the NSW wine industry,” he said.
“Previously I’ve done food and wine events on the northern beaches and have worked in the event industry for a long-time.
“This idea came together because a lot of these types of events happen on the coastal areas of Sydney, whether it’s Manly or Balmoral, so we felt it was time that this type of event happened for the people of greater Sydney and thought we’d put it right in the middle of Sydney, out at Rosehill.
“We’re bringing the country to the city.”
Mr Percy said 14 different wine regions throughout NSW were all coming together for this one event that’s focussed on NSW wines.
“We really want to let people know the quality of wines and the variety of wines available from these fantastic regions but also to try to educate people to think, if they’re going to have a wine based holiday, then they can save the air fare, jump in the car and go and enjoy their own backyard,” he said.
“It’s a two-way thing - bringing the country to the city but also letting people know about these great wine making regions, like Orange, Mudgee, the Hunter Valley, Hastings River, Shoalhaven, Cowra, the Riverina, or the Canberra region.
“There are so many great regions - it’s good to get that message out there.”
Mr Percy said “it makes sense” for the Sydney Wine Festival to showcase wines form regional NSW but it could also “obviously be replicated for wine regions in other states”.
He said the first-time event’s success would be measured by crowd numbers; the amount of tastings that occur, which can be record through a ticketing system; and the volume of wine sold.
Another performance indicator will be surveying people about their enjoyment factor and asking questions like what they’d like to see improved, for next year’s event.
“It’s something we’d like to create and grow; it’s not just a one-off event,” he said.
“We’ll have 60 wineries and we also have food stalls and a gourmet cheese and gourmet food corner.
“And as far as the numbers are concerned we have 89 different companies involved; everything from wine producers, food exhibitors and others like tourism operators.”