I've just spent a fabulous weekend up at Halls Gap for the Grampians Grape Escape - the wine and food festival. It was a three hour drive from Melbourne and worth every minute of it. We arrived at 11am with a great start to the day with the fabulous blues music of Nick Charles.
Nick is a virtuoso of acoustic roots music and well known both on the Australian and international scene. Later we were entertained by uplifting tunes of the Jazz Traders.
A highlight of the festival was cooking demonstrations by Channel 7's Bettter Homes and Gardens - 'Fast' Ed Halmagyi who used the regional produce and kept the audience entertained with his witty humour.
There were over 60 vendors with goodies including wine, beer, olives, cheeses, nuts, honey, lavender and organic produce to mention a few. Here is a little sample of the great produce on show:
Meredith Dairy - wonderful goat and sheep milk products
We had these lovely little creamy cheesecakes with lemon butter after dinner tonight - made with Meredith Farm's original Chevre and ewe's milk yoghurt by Ms Mullins (firstname.lastname@example.org) who was assisting on the stand (Lemon Butter also from the Meredith Dairy stand).
Organic vegetable from Bellellen Grampians Organics
(A sample: garlic, multi-coloured carrots, red Russian kale)
Olives and olive oil from Mount Zero Olives
(cold pressed extra virgin and lemon pressed extra virgin olive oil)
Pistachio nuts from Go Just Nuts
Hot Stuff - Chilly from Love's Pantry
Pizza from Glenthompson Bricks Outdoor Wood Fired Ovens
And here are some of the local residences