Tourism Industry stakeholders were invited to ‘Raise a Glass to Spring’ at the Tourism Industry Networking Event held at Rymill Coonawarra last week.
The event was hosted by the Coonawarra Vignerons and attended by various tourism operators, media, council representatives, accommodation providers and cellar door staff.
‘Raise a Glass to Spring’ launched the October Coonawarra Cabernet Celebrations program, which has returned to its former jam-packed schedule after some changes last year due to COVID.
There will be over 70 food and wine experiences for people to indulge in Coonawarra and taste Australia’s best wines.
Coonawarra Vignerons events and marketing officer Heidi Guyett said 20 Coonawarra wineries would host unique tasting experiences or dedicated events.
In addition, subsequent wineries will be involved in the collective showcases, such as the regional decadence tasting.
Council representatives of the Limestone Coast and Southern Grampians Shire also promoted many other exciting events coming up in the region.
“We were very pleased with the diversity of attendance, the fact that we did have representation from five of our local councils because it’s not often we have the opportunity to get together from a tourism perspective and point of view,” Ms Guyett said.
“It keeps everyone engaged and it’s really exciting to hear what’s happening across the whole district and Limestone Coast.
“Especially having that additional presence from cross-border with the Southern Grampians Shire council coming along.
“It really just reinforces the relationships and how important it is to keep on top of what’s going on to enable us to deliver a more consistent message across the whole district.”
Ms Guyett said she was excited for Coonawarra Cabernet Celebrations and to have many tourists venturing through the region.
“We’re very excited to not have the borders shut any longer,” she said.
“So to welcome back our interstate guests to this event it will be really interesting to see what we see in return visitors because the intrastate market has obviously made up for that shortfall in the past years.
“It’s great to see the program is back to probably what it was pre-COVID times, so lots of dinner events, lots of live music and afternoon on the lawns, they were events that were really affected in COVID times.
“We did adapt during COVID to hosting more intimate events but it’s great to see those events that can now draw a larger crowds back on the agenda.”
Ms Guyett said there were still aspects kept in mind regarding planning and delivery of events because they wanted to ensure people felt comfortable in a safe environment.
“But the beauty of Coonawarra is our essence of distance and the space that we have got at the wineries and to be able to make sure the events are presented in a way that everyone feels comfortable and plenty of space to spread out,” she said.
Ms Guyett said they received a significant amount of funding from the South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC) through the Regional Event Fund to assist with marketing activities and promotion of the month-long festival.
There will be a shuttle bus to transport people to and from wineries and people are encouraged to make the most of opportunities to stay the night in Penola.
Source: SE Voice, Ebony Raymond