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Heathcote on Show Regional Festival

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by Courtney Symes (subscribe)
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The folks from Heathcote are doing their best to let visitors know that they produce more than just delicious Shiraz. Heathcote on Show is a regional festival showcasing Heathcote's local food, beer, wine and artistic talents. This culinary and cultural extravaganza is set to take place on Queen's Birthday Weekend, and will be accompanied by local musicians and artists who will also display their talents over the weekend.

Whilst wine and wineries are a key attraction in Heathcote, many cellar doors and wine retailers have combined their tastings with other exciting events. Cellar & Store, for example, have an action-packed program that includes 'Meet the Maker' wine tastings as well as breakfast, lunch and great coffee. The tasting program will commence on Sat at 11am with Wild Duck Creek and Whistling Eagle until 1pm. This will be followed by St. Michaels 2009 Shiraz launch until 3pm and Peregrine Ridge until 5pm. They also have the evening covered with live music from 6-9pm and delicious roast pork rolls to top up your energy levels for the rest of the weekend. Sunday highlights include Syrahmi & Foster e Rocco tasting from 1-3pm, followed by a Plumm Glass and Wanted Man Masterclass. Monday's 'Weekend Wrap-Up' will include a tasting flight of 3 wines for $15. 105 High St, Heathcote.

Domaine Asmara has a vineyard, cellar door and bistro specialising in fusion Asian and European food. In addition to free wine tastings from 12-5pm across the weekend, there will also be a BBQ on the veranda and opera in the vineyard on Sat at 7pm. As part of their first anniversary celebrations, Domaine Asmara will be offering 10% off wine sales. 4 Gibb Road, Toolleen.

Downing Estate will have current release wines, as well as their museum vintages available on tasting with free produce platters. Take advantage of their special weekend offer: a free wine pourer with every purchase. 19 Drummonds Lane, Heathcote.

Flynns Wines will be showcasing their signature dish – slow cooked lamb shanks and shiraz. Visitors are encouraged to participate in tastings with the winemakers in the barrel room and enjoy a delicious lunch in the bistro. The menu is varied and offers an excellent selection of irresistible seasonal meals. 29 Lewis Road, Heathcote.

Heathcote Winery will be offering museum release shiraz tastings with the winemaker in the winery at 11am,1pm and 3pm on Sat and Sun and 11am and 1pm on Monday. Lap-up the atmosphere of the café, art gallery and live music. 185 High St, Heathcote.

Leading Australian blues and roots band, The Hornets will be playing at Idavue Estate on Sun from 1-5.30pm. Comprised of singer song-writer Craig Horne, guitarist Jeff Burstin (from Jo Jo Zep and the Falcons and the Black Sorrows), guitarist Wayne Burt (also from Jo Jo Zep and the Black Sorrows), drummer Chris Tabone (the Bad Loves), Wayne Duncan on bass (from Daddy Cool), and Bruce Haymes on keyboard (from Paul Kelly and Renee Geyer bands). Entry is only $15. 470 Northern Highway, Heathcote.

Winemakers and producers including: Barfold Estate, Bull Run Estate, Coliban Valley Wines, Grace Devlin Wines, Olive Branch Preserves, Pud for all Seasons, Pure Preserves and Condiments, Rowanston on the Track and Wildings Pantry Essentials will all present their appetizing produce at Kyneton Olive Oil. This foodies-feast will include new season olive oil, wood-fired pizza, wine tasting, tours and more. 2090 Kyneton-Heathcote Road, Barfold.

Biodynamic and organic wine producer, Louis de Castella Wines will offer live music on Sat from 7-10pm, as well as an art exhibition. 68 Pink Cliffs Road, Heathcote.

McIvor Estate is celebrating their tenth anniversary with a three-course lunch and vintage wines for $45 on Sat and Sun. 80 Tooborac Baynton Road, Tooborac.

Milvine Estate Wines are offering 13 bottles to the dozen, as well as 5% off Marsanne and Cabernet Sauvignon varieties. They will also be running a Lucky Draw for additional discounts and special offers. 108 Warren Road, Heathcote.

Sanguine Estate is usually only open by appointment only, but will be open all weekend for tastings and sales. Enjoy an antipasto platter, a guided tour of the gravity fed winery or a vertical tasting of Progeny Shiraz and sales of museum wines. 77 Shurans Lane, Heathcote.

Exploration of Heathcote's local produce would not be complete without a good local beer or two. Stop by Tooborac Hotel and Brewery - a family pub and working brewery for guided brewery tours with the Brewer from 12-1pm daily. Grab a bite to eat (lunch or dinner) and look out for the Tooborac's famous rabbit pies. 5115 Northern Highway, Tooborac.

With the long list of wineries and breweries throughout the region, you don't want to miss out on the fun by because you have to drive. Eliminate the stress of getting round by booking a local tour. Comet Tours and Charters and Heathcote Grape Escape Tours both offer tours throughout the region.

Make the most out of your weekend by taking advantage of the abundance of accommodation throughout the region. Take a look at:

1. Down the Track – Self contained cottage on 20 acres, 03 5433 2668

2. Emeu Inn – B&B with restaurant and wine centre

3. Fetching Treasures – Loft style apartment, 03 5433 3080

4. Heathcote Country Lodge – a variety of accommodation available, groups welcome.

5. Heathcote House – Centrally located luxurious B&B, 03 5433 3419.

6. Kurrajong Gardens – Luxury homestead in tranquil country setting.

Many local artists are also involved in the weekend. Heathcote Artists Inc will be hosting an exhibition of paintings, ceramics, sculpture and photography at the RSL Hall, 127 High St, Heathcote.

Blast to the past with guided tours run by Heathcote McIvor Historical Society and local history displays at 19 Herriot St, Heathcote on Sat and Sun between 10-3pm.

Check out Mia Mia Hall's art show, wine tastings and book sale – there'll even be a playground for the littlies. Valley Road, Mia Mia (off Heathcote-Kyneton Road).

The Heathcote Quilters will present a quilt display and 'chat with quilters' across the weekend from 10-4pm at Art Space in the Shire Offices, 125 High St.
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Why? Heathcote has more than just great Shiraz
When: 10-13 June 2011 (Queen's Birthday Weekend)
Where: Heathcote Region, Victoria
Cost: Depends on venue
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