Days away from the opening of the 2018 Orange Wine Festival, show organiser Justin Jarrett said the big difference this year is the excitement surrounding the region’s wine.
“The momentum is building,” Mr Jarrett said.
Having attended a couple of major wine events in Sydney this year, the grower and wine-maker said people are talking about Orange wine more than ever.
When you build a wine region it’s about inviting people down to hear the individuals tell their stories,Justin Jarrett
In response, festival organisers have added a second Vino Express Weekend from Sydney and increased capacity for Wine in the Vines.
While more tourists are expected, Mr Jarrett said organisers had taken steps to prevent overcrowding at the more popular events.
He said the decision was made to cap numbers at Friday’s Orange Wine Show Tasting at The Canobolas Hotel after feedback last year’s event was too big.
Attendees to the wine show tasting can sample all the show’s entries – including the trophy and medal winners – while grazing on platters of local produce.
Mr Jarrett said the “unique experience” offered the opportunity to take “a wine tour without leaving the Canobolas”.
“It’s a chance to travel from Sauvignon Blanc to Chardonnay to Shiraz to Cabernet Sauvignon and see how different wineries approach the same varietal but put their own spin on it,” he said.
With an estimated $1.5 million generated for the region from last year’s festival – which included events, accommodation, shop purchases and wine sales – Mr Jarrett said the two-week program is welcomed by everyone in the industry.
“When you build a wine region it’s about inviting people down to hear the individuals tell their stories,” he said.
“To see how wine’s being made, taste the food and see how hospitable people are. No advertising will ever be as powerful as a word-of-mouth recommendation from a friend who has heard a great story.”
The Orange Wine Show will open this Friday with the first train from Sydney arriving at midday and the Orange Wine Show Tasting and Masterclass that night.
This weekend will see vineyards, cellar doors, cafes and restaurants open their doors for special events, which will continue throughout the week.
The night market will be back next Friday to kick things off for the final weekend.
Signature events of the Orange Wine Festival:
- Orange Wine Show Tasting, Friday, October 12: All the wines from the Orange Wine Show, including the trophy and medal winning wines, will be on show for you to taste and judge. In between tasting, graze from generous platters of delicious local produce. Held in the Hotel Canobolas Grand Ballroom from 5.30pm– 8.30pm, tickets are $60 with a Spiegelau Glass included.
- Orange Wine Show Tasting and Masterclass, Friday, October 12: The Masterclass, hosted by local winemaker and 2018 'Young Gun of Wine' Top 50, Will Rikard Bell, introduces you to the colour, aroma, taste and regional characteristics of Orange wines. Tickets are $75pp including a Spiegelau glass, and entry to the Orange Wine Show Tasting.
- Orange Wine Festival Night Market, Friday, October 19: A family affair in Robertson Park that includes over 50 stallholders, offering the best wine and food from the region. Gold coin entry.
- The Vino Express, Friday, October 12 – Sunday, October 14; and Friday, October 19 – Sunday, October 21: For the first time, the Vino Express will run over both weekends of the festival. An all-inclusive weekend package. Departing Sydney Central Station. Includes accommodation, transport, behind-the scenes wine tastings, fine-dining experiences and tickets to ‘Wine in the Vines’. Package cost $897 per person based on twin share.
- Wine in the Vines, Saturday, October 20: Explore the vineyards, meet the winemakers and experience a roving lunch on a bus-about adventure. Tickets $149 per person.
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