MORE than 400 people poured through the doors of Bendigo venues today to enjoy the fruits of the region’s wine growers.
Bendigo Heritage Uncorked committee chair Cliff Stubbs said there were a lot of new faces at this year’s event, boosting the profile of both the region and its wine industry.
A Visit Victoria grant is believed to have contributed to the expanded reach.
But it seemed the region’s residents were also doing their bit to promote Bendigo’s wine growers. Many of the newcomers the Bendigo Advertiser met said they had been encouraged to attend by a local family member or friend.
Bendigo resident Gemma Rohan was joined at this year’s event by friends from Melbourne and Geelong, including Sue Findlay.
It was Ms Findlay’s first Bendigo Heritage Uncorked, and she seemed suitably impressed.
“It’s really well set out. They’ve thought of everything,” she said.
In addition to sampling local wines and produce, Ms Findlay said the event gave newcomers like herself an opportunity to appreciate venues like the Ulumbarra Theatre.
“It’s showcasing Bendigo,” Ms Rohan said.
Wineries were dispersed among seven venues in the heart of the city, including heritage gems such as the MacKenzie Quarters and cultural icons such as the Chinese Gardens.
Merrigum resident Andrea Whyte started at the Wine Bank on View and wandered over to the nearby MacKenzie Quarters.
She had been to walking wine festivals before, but said Bendigo Heritage Uncorked was different. Its relaxed atmosphere, the ease of walking between the venues and the local produce set it apart from similar events.
“It’s good for the town,” Mr Stubbs said.
He said the reputation of the Bendigo region’s wine growers was growing, and with it, demand for their products.
Mr Stubbs said his own vineyard, Burnt Acre, had almost run out of wine over the past 12 months of trading.
Sixteen of the 20 members of the Bendigo Winegrowers Association were involved in Bendigo Heritage Uncorked this year. The event is in its 23rd year.
It concluded a week of wine-related events in and around Bendigo.
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