WINE aficionados have gathered at Bendigo's Rosalind Park for the annual Strategem Bendigo Winemakers Festival.
The event was postponed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but more than 1000 people were able to participate in the event at the weekend.
Bendigo Winegrowers Association president Wes Vine, who also owns Mandurang Valley Wines, said it was great to see people out and about.
"They really show how they are enjoying their wine - just their comments and discussion while you're serving wine to them has been really very good," he said.
To meet COVID-19 safety requirements, the festival ran over two days, with each day limited to 1000 guests.
There were also QR code check-in sites and social distancing practices implemented.
Mr Vine said the festival ran smoothly despite the coronavirus changes.
"It was well planned," he said. "I take my hat off to the committee who organised it. It all worked so smoothly."
Bendigo resident Darryl Henderson was at the event on Sunday. He said while it looked like numbers were down on previous years, it was still a great event.
"It's lovely to see it back here at Rosalind Park," Mr Henderson said. "We have enjoyed it but COVID has impacted it - there are fewer people.
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"Obviously there are advantages and disadvantages with that. For example, we're sitting at a table that we normally might not have been able to get so easily.
"But it's been an interesting thing to see the impact on the function. I was hoping there would be slightly more people here."
Mel Thomas, another Bendigo resident, said the Winemakers Festival was a great event to support with friends.
"Another good festival has been put on in Bendigo," he said. "It's the first time I have been to this event. I have been to other wine things but it's just nice to have a day out."
Vanessa Bull attended the festival on Sunday with a group of friends. She said the new coronavirus protocols had been easy to navigate.
"We like wine, we like cheese, and we like sitting outside," Ms Bull said.
"It's been really good. If it wasn't for the scanning in at the front, it would be like COVID never happened."
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