Coonawarra Stuffed Santa Competition rivals Lobethal’s Christmas Lights as one of SA’s top Yuletide community events

Tony Love, The Advertiser
December 21, 2016 5:35pm

IF Father Christmas is running a bit late this year — we now know why.

More than 50 of his team of helpers have been sidetracked in SA’s famed southeast Coonawarra wine region, and they’re going to be stuck there for the next week at least.

We spied them skiving off all over the region, on rural farms, outside wineries, hanging about in Penola’s main street — and while some were doing a bit of hard work, others seemed to be having a jolly good time.

One was drafting sheep out on the Robe Road at the Lambert family’s property. Another just down the track was hard at work on his giant hay bale truck. Plenty had dragged out their ancient farm machinery for a once over.

Others were a bit more relaxed. At the Zema Estate winery, Santa’s helper was enjoying la dolce vita fixing himself a pizza, while in Penola’s main street another was scoffing a giant cupcake.

A couple of Santa’s crew were even a bit friskier, one outside Leconfield Winery having climbed a water tower to have a spa — with, for goodness sake, his reindeer.

And something definitely was going on outside the Bellwether Wines Glenroy Shearing Shed, where Santa’s clobber was hanging on the washing line — along with some rather intimate apparel, you might say. We didn’t drop in to say hello …

And some Santas were simply too shagged from their pre-season duties, having collapsed from all the hard yakka — or so they would like us to believe.

The truth behind this strange occurrence is the annual Penola and Coonawarra Stuffed Santa Competition which now rivals Lobethal’s Christmas Lights as one of the state’s top Yuletide community events.

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