SHIRAZ is set to flow liberally all weekend long at the Heathcote Food and Wine Festival.
Organisers expect 5000 food and wine lovers to descend on Heathcote for the 12th running of the annual event.
In contrast to last year’s event, when rain hampered the Saturday’s event, Mother Nature looks to be kinder this year, with temperatures set to be above 20 degrees both days.
Heathcote Wine Growers executive officer Henry Screen said a highlight would be the shiraz masterclass with wine author and commentator Nick Stock.
Mr Stock will explore the best shiraz of the Heathcote region alongside global stand-outs of the same variety.
“It’s pretty special to get him to come to the festival," he said.
“The master class is heavily booked, so that will definitely be a highlight.”
Chef Patrick Aldred and wine taster and educator Rob Hicks will also hold master classes over the weekend.
Trophy-winners and medallists of the inaugural Heathcote Wine Show, held in August, will have their tastings for their award-winning wines.
“It’ll be the first time this has happened, so it’ll be a great chance for the public to taste Heathcote’s best wines,” Mr Screen said.
Mr Screen said the festival bus, which is available to shuttle guests from Bendigo or Melbourne, has proved popular.
“It’s a great option for people who don’t want to drive," he said.
“It allows people to come and enjoy themselves and they don’t have to worry about how they’re getting home.”
As well as wine, the region's finest produce will also be on offer.
It is a chance for the public to taste Heathcote’s best winesHenry Screen
"There will be a wide range of delicious food offerings from lots of different vendors," Mr Screen said.
Greg Champion and the Cool Rockin' Daddies, The Tequila Mockingbirds and contemporary folk duo Suzette Herft and Patrick Evans will provide the soundtrack to the event.
Tickets are still on sale for the festival, with the admission price at $30 online or $35 on the gate.