A campaign to make the cellardoor experience approachable to more than just the wine connoisseur has paid off for Heifer Station Wines, which has been named alongside Orange360 and the Orange Visitor's Centre as finalists in the NSW Tourism Awards.
Heifer Station's James Thomas said when the winery began its tourism push in 2016 it focused on creating a place where different demographics had a reason to visit midweek, as well as weekends.
Heifer Station has since introduced a petting zoo, a handball court, a Bocce pitch and a bar.
Mr Thomas said having the zoo attracts mums with non school-aged children during the week, as well as grandparents and young travellers.
It might be their first time visiting a cellar door but now they love the brand and love the experienceJames Thomas
"We're always thinking of new ideas," he said. "The cornerstone of our business is still to sell wine, but we do it in a different way."
Recently the Escort Way winery has introduced private-picnics which has seen seven loved-up couples get engaged.
"It might be their first time visiting a cellar door but now they love the brand and love the experience and want to get married here," he said.
"Those people are likely to be customers for life."
Heifer Station was named in the Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries' Category, the Orange Visitor Information Centre is in the Visitor Information Services category and Orange360 for its 'Extend The Weekend campaign' in the Destination Marketing category.
VIDEO:The Campaign includes the video 'Extend the Weekend' ...
Extend The Weekend was a quarter-of-a-million dollar campaign to drive awareness of the region and its year-round appeal for millenials.
The $262,000 marketing campaign was funded through Orange City Council, Orange360 and the state government.
Mr Thomas said it was an honour to be named alongside the likes of Brokenwood Wines Cellar Door in Pokolbin and Cupitt's Winery, Brewery and Fromagerie in Ulladulla and Margan Wines and Restaurant in Broke.
"It's exciting to be recognised among wineries of this calibre," he said.
The winners of the 2019 NSW Tourism Awards will be announced at a Gala Dinner on November 14 at the Four Seasons Hotel, Sydney.
Gold Medal winners will go on to represent NSW at the Australian Tourism Awards.
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