IN JUST a few weeks the city’s major wineries will be gearing up for what could become their premier event of the year.
UnWINEd 2012 will feature a whole host of events at local wineries from wine tasting and food to wine education classes and winery tours.
Event organiser Stuart McGrath-Kerr said the festival was growing every year and it was a great opportunity to get locals out to wineries.
“The idea is that each winery puts in as much or as little effort as it wants,” Mr McGrath-Kerr said.
“And I suppose that is rewarded by the numbers they get.”
He said some wineries had expressed the view that they wanted to make this their keynote event.
“If we can get the locals to support it then that will help build the numbers,” he said.
“The June long weekend is a time when families come back to Griffith and it’s a good opportunity for wineries to put something on.”
Yenda winery Berton Vineyards will try out a novel event for the festival this year, challenging guests to create a wine “master blend” from a variety of reds.
Owner Cherie Berton said La Festa had taken the focus away from wineries somewhat and UnWINEd was their chance to draw back the visitors.
“Especially because we’re a bit out of town, people don’t tend to come out unless they’re driving out anyway or there’s something on,” Mrs Berton said.
“With La Festa and UnWINEd so close together we don’t tend to do as much for La Festa, we do more for UnWINEd.”
Mrs Berton hoped her approach to the event would attract winelovers interested in the making of their favourite drink.
She said in the past, she was able to take people on tours of the winery, but times had changed.
“I think it’s a nice idea and there are a lot of people out there who drink wine,” she said.
“They can understand how it comes to be in the bottle and there are quite a few people out there who are interested in that sort of thing.”