MORE than 80 people attended last week's launch of the 2014 Shoalhaven Coast Winter Wine Festival at the Mercure Resort Gerringong by the Sea.
The festival, held over the June 7-9 long weekend, is shaping up to rival last year's 10th anniversary celebrations.
The launch gave members of the public the opportunity to rub shoulders with winemakers, festival sponsors and food artisans.
Special guests included Gerringong artist Barbara Spence whose magnificent painting Life Beneath the Grapevines and other works have played a pivotal role in promoting the festival.
Winemaker Michelle Crockett told guests at the festival launch that ideal weather conditions had provided the ingredients for a superb vintage.
Eleven wineries - Yarrawa Estate, Roselea Vineyard, Crooked River Wines, Silos Estate and Wiley's Creek, Mountain Ridge Wines, Coolangatta Estate, Two Figs Winery, Cambewarra Estate, Cupitt's Winery, Fern Gully Winery and Bawley Vale Estate - will be taking part in this year's festival.
Saturday and Sunday will be the Festival's main days, with Monday providing an opportunity to spend more time discussing wines with vignerons and winemakers.
For food lovers the menu is delicious and diverse, from special degustation dinners to long lunches, a la carte, mouth-watering home grown Angus beef and oysters, sumptuous home-made soups and sausage rolls, wood-fired pizzas and even sparkling high teas.
Festival goers can purchase a commemorative glass for $8 at the first winery they visit and that will entitle them to enjoy tastings at each of the participating wineries.
Stuart's Coaches will once again be running a hop-on, hop-off bus around the Shoalhaven Heads, Berry and Nowra wineries, allowing festival goers to leave their vehicles at home. For more information or to book your bus ticket call 4421 0332.
More information and the full festival program is available online at the event's website, shoalhavencoastwine.com.au