Grampians Grape Escape – Making an event happen
There is so much to discover at Grampians Grape Escape.
Whether you are interested in trying the cool climate wines, the flavoursome foods, enjoying the vibrant entertainment or just love coming to one of the most stunning places in Victoria, it is a festival that has wow factor.
And there is one common thread that links all of these elements; the fact that Grampians Grape Escape lives, breathes and exudes community.
The festival has grown and flourished because of the growers, makers, creatives and those behind the scenes who have worked with such passion for nearly three decades.
From humble beginnings and the work of thousands of passionate local people, Grampians Grape Escape is celebrating 27 years in 2018.
Originally launching as The Grampians Gourmet Weekend in 1992, the festival then attracted around 1000 people who came to enjoy the food and wine of six local restaurants and seven local wineries.
The not-for-profit festival has evolved into a month-long festival, drawing up to 10,000 people to region. It is the longest running food and wine festival to be hosted in one venue in Australia.
There is no better event that showcases what this diverse region has to offer, with award winning wines, artisan eats, fresh produce, live entertainment, arts, handmade goods and even a foodie celebrity or two. All of this is available to uncover with the stunning Grampians as the backdrop, it is one of those special events that people mark in their diaries and return to year after year.
The weekend is constantly evolving, ensuring even those who have been visiting for many years will have something new to try; including this year’s selection of masterclasses and demonstrations, whether that be the blind ice cream tasting, or learning more about butchery.
So much so, buses bring in wine lovers and foodies from Stawell, Ararat, Horsham and even as far as Warrnambool to enjoy the event.
Vendors love to show people what they have to offer, and in turn often enjoy repeat sales and visitation after the weekend.
The 2017 post event survey shows that 85 per cent of respondents would either be highly likely or likely to take another trip to the Grampians region within a year.
It’s not just wine, it’s not just food, it’s not just the stunning setting, it is all of that topped off with a sense of community pride that cannot be rivalled.
These producers make their wares with love, in a region they have either been lucky enough to have lived in their entire lives, or were drawn to themselves once upon a time.
Thousands of people have volunteered over the years, whether that be on a gate, stuffing bags or in the demonstration marquee. This event is nothing without the volunteers, people who are so passionate about this region that they dedicate their time to ensure this festival runs, and runs well.
This is a destination event, drawing people from everywhere to the picturesque heart of Halls Gap.
The locals know it is the place to be, it is a favourite weekend day trip for many who live close by, and a dream come true for those lucky enough to live and work in the Grampians.
This might be the reason so many people give up their time to make the event happen.
Without events such as these, put together and nurtured by the people who live and work in the region, some of the wonderful things being made here would be kept a secret.
This is why this festival is one not to miss, because this is a secret worth knowing.