Indulge! 9 irresistible winter wine and food festivals in 2018

Cheers to Australia's winter wine festivals!

Winter. Wine. Wonderful.

Throughout the cooler months, Australia warms up with a solid selection of fabulous food and wine festivals.

These events are dotted all over the countryside, whether you’re heading north searching for sunshine or embracing the cooler weather of southern Australia.

Prepare to be tempted as we present you with our handpicked lineup…

Red, red wine. Rich reds shine in winter.

1. Hunter Valley Wine & Food Festival, Hunter Valley, NSW

Two months! Yep, that’s right, for two tastebud-tantalising months you can celebrate the immense quality of goodies from one of Australia’s most famous wine regions. Indulge to your heart’s content through a series of events and activities held across multiple venues. Among the highlights are winemaking masterclasses, vineyard tours, cooking classes, long lunches, a cheese lover’s festival, and much more. Delicious!

When: 1 May-30 June.
Where to stay: Ingenia Holidays Hunter Valley.

It’s all smiles at Whispering Brook winery for the Hunter Valley Wine & Food Festival.

Credit: Hunter Valley Wine Tourism Association

2. Relish, Maryborough, QLD

Relish in all that the Fraser Coast region offers the palate at this classic food and wine festival. Portside Maryborough is the ideal venue for this tasty event with its riverside parks providing a superb setting for punters to sample top-notch local wine and craft brews and to tuck into ample local produce that includes sumptuous Hervey Bay scallops. It’s backed by cooking demonstrations from leading chefs, cheese-making workshops, steam engine rides, live entertainment, and other fun and games.

When: 2 June.
Where to stay: BIG4 Point Vernon Holiday Park in nearby Hervey Bay.

It’s all sunshine and happiness at Relish. Image credit: Fraser Coast Opportunities.

3. City Wine, Perth WA

First-rate wine. Check. Central location. Check. Buzzing vibe. Check. The best of Western Australia’s boutique wineries makes its way to the state capital for this two-day celebration, held in a pop-up venue in the heart of Perth. Tasty tapas dishes from leading food vendors satisfy an appetite; craft beers, ciders, and spirits add diversity; and live entertainment enhances the buzz of this prized event.

When: 8-9 June.

Crowds get into the festive spirit at City Wine in Perth. Credit: Wine and Food Events WA.

4. Sea & Vines, McLaren Vale, SA

For 25 years plus, one of South Australia’s best wine regions has come alive for a long weekend of fun, festivities, and a feast of flavours. Sea & Vines serves up a string of enthralling events, with many of the area’s premier wineries and producers participating with long lunches, garden parties, music-inspired outings, and plenty more. And for the public holiday Monday, the emphasis is on family fun. Awesome!

When: 9-11 June.
Where to stay: BIG4 Port Willunga Tourist Park.

d'Arenberg winery, complete with its amazing Cube, is one of the participating wineries at Sea & Vines.

Credit: SATC

5. Winery Walkabout, Rutherglen, VIC

With a 40-plus-year history, the Walkabout is billed as the oldest wine festival in Victoria. It’s also one of the best. This northeast Victorian celebration incorporates almost 20 wineries, a barrel-load of events, live music, and ample enjoyment. Prepare for a weekend of pure indulgence in a wine region oozing vast appeal.

When: 9-10 June.
Where to stay: BIG4 Yarrawonga-Mulwala Lakeside Holiday Park, BIG4 Borderland Wodonga, or BIG4 Albury Tourist Park.

Get among the wine and good times at the Rutherglen Winery Walkabout. Image courtesy: Winemakers of Rutherglen/Destination Rutherglen.

6. Winter Wine Weekend, Mornington Peninsula, VIC

Warm up this winter with a long weekend of wonderful wine. This popular gig showcases the amazing vino and culinary creations of this magnificent region. The headline component of this multi-part event is the Winter Wine Fest held on the Saturday. Red Hill Showground bursts with energy as the goodies from almost 50 wineries and ample restaurants are available to sample. For the rest of the weekend, 50 or so local wineries keep the buzz going with various cellar-door activities and events.

When: 9-11 June.
Where to stay: BIG4 Mornington Peninsula Holiday Park or Kangerong Holiday Park.

The Mornington Peninsula wineries are alluring, particularly during the Winter Wine Weekend. Location: Montalto Vineyard & Olive Grove.

7. Truffle Kerfuffle, Manjimup, WA

Now into its eighth year, this lively occasion celebrates truffle season in an area regarded as Australia’s truffle capital. This is a festival with a difference, and there are more events than you could poke a stick at. Among them are truffle hunts, markets, and wine sessions, which make for one almighty satisfying weekend.

When: 22-24 June.
Where to stay: In the South West WA region.

Let the good times roll at Truffle Kerfuffle.

Credit: Offshoot Creative

8. Bundaberg Region Winterfeast, various locations, QLD

There is so much more than just iconic rum to celebrate in this produce-rich region. Revel in goodies ranging from seafood to strawberries at this super 10-day carnival, which includes markets, food tours, a picnic, and much more. Event organisers are promising a bigger, better festival in 2018, so grab your tickets and prepare to indulge.

When: 6-15 July.
Where to stay: BIG4 Cane Village Holiday Park.


9. Mid-Winter Fest, Huon Valley, TAS

South of Hobart, the Huon Valley has long been proud of its produce. Enter Mid-Winter Fest, a quirky event with various entertainment where you can’t help but to be in the merriest of moods. In fact, this must be one of the most memorable festivals on the calendar as homage is paid to the region's apple-picking past through age-old customs that are sure to captivate. Adding to the fun is all manner of delicious food that is dished up by passionate stallholders, which pairs mightily well with local wines.

When: 13-15 July.
Where to stay: BIG4 Hobart Airport Tourist Park.

As you can see, Mid-Winter Fest is far from your average food and wine event, but it's well worth attending.

Credit: Nat Mendham; courtesy Mid-Winter Fest

Have you been to any of these events in previous years? What has been your experience of them? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

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