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Inaugural Yarra Valley Wine & Food Festival Hailed A Success!

April 7, 2017 Destination Global No Comments Email Email

More than 6,000 people attended the first ever Yarra Valley Wine & Food Festival over the weekend of April 1 and April 2, 2017 on the lawns of Rochford Wines.

The inaugural festival – which was part of the 2017 Melbourne Food & Wine Festival – brought together more than 70 local Yarra Valley wineries and food producers. It was the first time in the history of the Yarra Valley that both the larger big name wineries and smaller boutique operators came together in the one domain.

Festival organisers were thrilled to see thousands of people at the festival supporting the Yarra Valley, and enjoying the Valley’s finest wines, food and produce, alongside an incredible line-up of live entertainment and celebrity cooking demonstrations.

“We are very happy with the turnout. Considering this is the first time the event has been held we received great numbers and fantastic support from the locals and also our industry partners Visit Victoria and Yarra Ranges Tourism. We wanted to showcase and celebrate the wonderful strengths of the Yarra Valley at the festival and feedback to date has been amazing”, said Festival General Manger, Ross Stevens.

Names such as DeBortoli Wines, Hanrahan Vineyard, Balgownie Estate, Yering Farm Wines, Punt Road Wines, Coombe Yarra Valley, Paynes Rise Winery, TarraWarra Estate, Zonzo Estate and of course Rochford Wines were among the 40 leading Yarra Valley wineries that took part in the inaugural Yarra Valley Wine & Food Festival.

The individual Festival ‘wine laneways’ featuring varietals such as Chardonnay Lane and Pinot Noir Lane – were overflowing with visitors tasting and purchasing premium Yarra Valley wines.  Sparkling Lane, in particular was most popular among the visitors and was a hive of activity on both days of the Festival.

The Festival was complete with live music and entertainment from Chunky Jam on Saturday and Bjorn Again the world’s NO 1 ABBA show – was a major highlight on Saturday night and Lisa Edwards from the John Farnham band took the stage on Sunday.

Festival Central was exploding with fun and lively cooking demonstrations, where Channel 7’s My Kitchen Rules contestants made a special appearance and took over the kitchen to present unique cooking demonstrations.  Kahwai Lo (aka Buddha) from Matteo’s Restaurant and Brendan McQueen also showed off their innovative recipes and unique cooking styles to festival goers.

The Yarra Valley Farmers Market was a crowd favourite with a range of Yarra Valley producers claiming they had record sales over the two days of the Festival. Coming together to showcase their unique local produce and fare were: Yarra Valley Dairy, Australian Harvest Fine Foods, Kookaberry Berry Farm, 3 Bridges, Apiary Made, DArbons Pastries, Nothing But Juice, Unforgettable Products,  Sure Things,  Happiness in a Teacup,  Belle View Farm Eggs, Nogo Sauces, House of Gingerbread, Jam Lady Jam, Fudge by Rich,  Raw 4 the People, Blossom Organics, Micro Meadows, Milestone Pickle, My Little Cupcake Dream, Heathmont Honey, Silva Coffee,  Stone and Crow Cheese and Crumbs Gourmet Biscuits.

Revellers indulged in dishes from leading Melbourne and regional food trucks including Lady Paella, Babajis Kitchen, St Kilda Burger Bar, Lukumades, Giant Springs,  Nomad Wood Fire Pizza, Don Lopez, Melbourne Arancini, and Bites on Wheels, with some food trucks selling out!

The Festival Community Arts Exhibition showcased an incredible display of art work including the Wine Barrels that were a part of the Art Competition.  Local artist Bev Hardidge won the best designed wine barrel and received $750 as did her nominated school – Wandin Yallock Primary School.

“We shall be back bigger and better next year- so watch this space for news and dates for 2018”, said Stevens.

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