Australia’s longest running wine festival will return with a reimagined format on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 June 2023 (King’s Birthday long weekend). Celebrating its 50th birthday, Roam Rutherglen Winery Walkabout (previously Winery Walkabout) will showcase the region’s creative winemakers, progressive varietals and picturesque locations.
Iconic for its relaxed, fun-loving spirit, the new iteration of the festival retains its exuberance whilst undergoing some changes intended to allow festivalgoers to linger longer and explore more of the small but mighty wine region.
Annalee Nolan Winemakers of Rutherglen Executive Officer says of the evolving festival, “I like to think it’s 50 years young! In that vein, we wanted to inject a more contemporary feel. Today’s wine explorers appreciate getting under the skin of a winery and its wines, so to speak. We wanted to slow the festival down and make sure that attendees have a chance to get to know us all and really discover what speaks to them. Stay longer, spend longer at each winery, roam our wonderful region.”
THE FESTIVAL AND THE REGION
The program will feature premium tastings, live entertainment and unique sensory cellar door experiences from 15 of the region’s wineries. There will be something for everyone, from sipping on Muscat cocktails and dancing to live music, to connecting wine lovers and winemakers through new varietals and unexpected winemaking techniques.
The pioneering spirit of Rutherglen is experiencing a renaissance. Originally famed for their reds and Muscats, the Winemakers of Rutherglen are now emerging as Victoria’s most progressive artisans for their new style Muscats, gins, Fianos, Malbecs, aperitifs, Ilberian wines and more. The new wave of Rutherglen vignerons, and the generations before them serve the perfect blend of tradition and creativity. Meet them at Roam Rutherglen Winery Walkabout.
WHAT’S NEW THIS YEAR?
Previously allowing access to only one day of festivities, the Festival Lovers ticket now includes two days of Festival entry for only $65 (early bird pricing). Demonstrating exceptional value, the price also includes a wine glass, 15 free tastings per day, a food voucher to be spent at any of the participating wineries and non-alcoholic offering. A premium Wine Lovers ticket has also been added to the program, offering unlimited tastings and even more food and drink value. These are but two of the various ticket options, with the full suite available at explorerutherglen.com.au.
Another new feature is one continuous hop-on, hop-off bus loop taking in all participating wineries rather than multiple smaller loops. With more than 20 buses operating and driving in both directions, this reinvigorated format allows ‘roamers’ to taste the region in their own time, their own way. Jump on any Festival Shuttle Bus and it will get you where you need to go.
For those travelling from elsewhere in the region, regional bus services will run from Corowa, Howlong, Yarrawonga, Wangaratta, Chiltern, Beechworth, Albury and Wodonga. All regional bus tickets are inclusive of the Festival Shuttle Bus, yet another value-driven addition for 2023.
Responsible self-driving is highly encouraged. In fact, festival access is absolutely free for designated drivers. The Designated Drivers ticket provides non-alcoholic options across all participating wineries – think mocktails, cordial bars, non-alcoholic punch and of course tea, coffee and soft drinks.
Festival Currency entry wristbands are another new innovation. Prepurchase and preload your Festival Currency onto your wristband for a seamless, fun time with your wallet essentially on your wrist.
The new Rutherglen Winery Digital Passport will also delight festivalgoers. Purchase a bottle of wine from a participating winery to receive an entry into the giveaway draw, valued at up to $2,000 in travel vouchers. The more wineries you buy from, the more entries you’ll receive.
FAST FACTS: ROAM RUTHERGLEN WINERY WALKABOUT 2023
• When: Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 June
• Time: 10am to 4pm
• Tickets: Start from $40 (or free for Designated Drivers)
• Purchase tickets from: explorerutherglen.com.au now!