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Porongurup Wine Festival 2018

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by Newt (subscribe)
Freelance writer, PR person, loving the Perth lifestyle of fabulous food and wine, great weather and wide open spaces.
Anna Gare cooking demo and family fun down south
Thirty years ago Campbell McGready asked his neighbouring viticulturist and long-time friend, Geoff Clarke if he'd like to join him in a day to promote their Porongurup wines.

That day in 1988 marked the birth of the Porongurup Wine Festival, which this year will feature nine outstanding local wineries.

Taste Great Southern, Porongurup, Anna Gare, Don Hancey
Fun grape stomping at Porongurup. Photograph: Viki Lyn

The 30th celebration of the festival will be held on Sunday, March 4 from 11am to 5pm at Karridale at Porongurup.

It will feature wine masterclasses with Dan Wegener, a Great Grape Stomp, cooking demonstrations with Anna Gare and Don Hancey, a One Wok Wonder competition, live music from Blue Stuka and children's entertainment with a bouncy castle, free train rides for under 10s and Jamie the Clown.

In its early years, Porongurup held two festivals each year, which involved the entire community and focussed on families and children's activities.

The festival has featured a variety of events over the years. In 2000, the Western Australian Symphony Orchestra played, in 1995 there was a shearing demonstration and in 1997, the Albany Classic Bike race finished at the festival.

Anna Gare, Taste Great Southern, Porongurup Wine Festival, Don Hancey
Celebrity chef Anna Gare will be giving cooking demonstrations. Image supplied.

The ABC's Landline featured the festival in 2012 and in 2016, Taste Great Southern sponsored Anna Gare and Don Hancey to judge the One Wok Wonder, which created a fun professional presentation.

This year, previous winners of the One Wok Wonder competition will cook off for the title of overall champion.

At 1.45pm, three past winners will cook off against the clock using some amazing local produce - and a wok - in a fun competition that will be judged by Don Hancey and Anna Gare, helped by local chefs.

Don and Anna will also be on the cooking stage showing off WA's amazing Linley Valley Pork.

The nine participating wineries have developed an enviable reputation as quality wine producers and includes Dukes Vineyard, which produced the Magpie Hill 2017 Riesling which was awarded 99 points by James Halliday, the first-ever Riesling to be awarded this score.

Porongurup wines, Taste Great Southern, Anna Gare, Don Hancey
Wine tasting at the Porongurup Wine Festival. Picture: Viki Lyn

Wineries participating this year include Abbey Creek Vineyard, Castle Rock Estate, Duke's Vineyard, Ironwood Estate, Jingalla Wines, Montefalco Vineyards, Mount Trio Vineyard, Shepherd's Hut and Zarephath Wines.

Celebrity chef Anna Gare from Junior Masterchef, The Great Australian Bake Off, The Best in Australia and Quickies In My Kitchen will be giving cooking demonstrations at 12.30pm and 2.45pm.

Community, food and wine conversations will happen every half hour and include 'secret ingredients of Porongurup wine success' and 'how to get the best from Linley Valley Pork'.

Australia's most awarded sommelier Dan Wegener will be giving wine masterclasses, taking a look at local Rieslings, Chardonnays, Shiraz and Pinot Noir, accompanied with cheese.

Porongurup, Taste Great Southern, Anna Gare, Don Hancey
A family atmosphere at the Porongurup Wine Festival. Picture: Viki Lyn

Tickets for the masterclasses are available on the day and are limited to 30 places and cost $10 per session.

The Riesling masterclass will be at noon, Chardonnay at 1pm, Pinot Noir at 2pm and Shiraz at 3pm.

Bus shuttles to and from the festival will operate from Albany, Denmark, Mt Barker and Porongurup Village.

More information is available on the festival website

Visit Taste Great Southern events for more information.
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Why? A family fun wine tasting day with celebrity chefs.
When: 11am to 5pm
Where: 153 Woodlands Rd, Porongurup WA
Cost: Pre-purchase tickets are $22, or $25 cash only at the gate. Entry and Albany bus pass is $52. Wine Masterclass tickets can be purchased on the day for $10 per person (numbers strictly limited to 30 places per session). Wine and food is available to
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