Record numbers bring region alive

By Vanessa Wiltshire

WITH more than 30 wineries and venues on show for Heathcote’s flagship weekend it was impossible to experience everything.

But still the crowds came, and in greater numbers than years before.

While the data is still being crunched, Sanguine Estate chief executive Jodi Marsh said early feedback on Heathcote on Show was positive.

‘‘We had so many people come through this year who said the show felt busier, even more alive,’’ she said.

‘‘Traffic through Sanguine was consistent across the whole weekend, not just in peaks and troughs like it has been in past years. We sold out of a lot.’’

Sanguine Estate owner Tony Hunter said many people were eager to engage with cellar door staff and understand the stories behind the wine.

‘‘People want to know where their wine came from and the people who produce it. Heathcote on Show is a fantastic opportunity for all of the wine growers and tourism industry to connect with new customers and build relationships for the long-term,’’ he said.

Jodi said the key to success was showcasing what the region had to offer.

‘‘It’s not just about Sanguine as one winery. When we present ourselves as an entire region, like we have done this weekend, that’s when the magic happens,’’ she said.

Heathcote II, Peder Rosdal and Lionel Flutto owners opened their new cellar door and restaurant, just in time for Heathcote on Show.

Stunningly simple in design, with open, light-filled space, people came from across Victoria to sample wine and enjoy uninterrupted, sun-washed views across the vineyard. It could have been Red Hill.

Down the road, Peregrine Ridge offered tastings at their almost complete-cellar door. The build, which started in 2013, lends itself to incredible views which are every inch in quality like the Yarra Valley.

Back in town, owner of Todd Property, Brad Todd said the level of interest in real estate during the Heathcote on Show weekend was ‘‘unprecedented’’.

‘‘The whole street has been a hive of activity,’’ he said.

‘‘Property inspections were at an all time high for this time in June. There has been a spike in traffic on our website, and especially eyes on the windows.’’