Wineries see benefits of jumping aboard Geelong’s showcase wine events

The boutique and family-owned vineyards, wineries and cellar doors that comprise the Geelong wine industry appear to be investing in the need to grow a regional wine identity.

Dave Cairns, Geelong Advertiser

THE boutique and family-owned vineyards, wineries and cellar doors that comprise the Geelong wine industry appear to be investing in the need to grow a regional wine identity.

This year more wineries have got on board the region’s showcase wine events as they adapt to visitor demands for unique and holistic experiences.

Twenty-two wineries participated in the second Pinot Affair in May, which quickly sold out to 600 attendees, and last month 28 wineries took part in Winter Shiraz, compared with 25 in 2015.

Next year, Wine Geelong is adding a new event, A Splash of Chardonnay, to celebrate the region’s third hero grape variety.

There has also been a significant increase in the number of wineries taking part in a series of blind wine tasting sessions over the past two years.

Wine Geelong also expects to see its flagship Toast to the Coast take another leap forward this year, predicting 5000 people will attend the weekend event in November — up from 4000 in 2018.

There are more than 150 vineyards and 60 wineries in the Geelong wine region and Toast to the Coast is an event where the collaboration between them is evident, with many of the smaller players taking a “guest” stand at the larger wineries.

The events give smaller wineries a chance to connect to vital direct sales opportunities while being part of a greater whole helps everyone in an industry where regional identity is inexorably linked to the appeal and marketing message of the product.

Growing the region’s reputation is a key plank of Wine Geelong’s newly released three-year strategic plan that aims to steer the region to being recognised as “one of Australia’s premier wine regions and destinations”.

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