The 2017 Shoalhaven Coast Winter Wine Festival is attracting good crowds despite the weather and is attracting more buses and trains this year.
Despite fears about the weather large crowds turned out for the first day on Saturday and remained mostly dry all day.
Nicole Mallos, of NVS Events, said festival organisers were still confident of reaching 10,000 visitors.
“The weather didn’t effect us at all,” Ms Mallos said.
“My first stop was Silos Estate and it was packed by 11am. Raj (Rajarshi Ray) was in his element doing his wine barrel talk. We went on to Crooked River and there were plenty of people there and then Roselea and it was really pleasant there.”
Ms Mallos will visit most of the participating wineries over the weekend and said people were coming from everywhere including Sydney, Canberra, Wollongong and Shellharbour.
She said there were definitely more people coming by bus this year and the additional trains put on by NSW Trains to Berry and Bomaderry were helping more people enjoy the festival without having to drive.
“There were buses everywhere,” she said.
“Stuart’s had a lot of bookings on the day yesterday. There are lots of coaches coming through. Stuart’s had more pre-bookings for Saturday than Sunday but I still think Sunday could be bigger.”
“Every vineyard is happy with the first day. We want everyone to enjoy the experience and the crowds were not too big. We want everyone to enjoy the weekend for the three day wine festival.”
Ms Mallos said there was more food at all the wineries.
“Every one of them has really gone all out this year. Mountain Ridge has new owners and they have put on a kids show in the middle of the day for about an hour. Crooked River have extra things like a Ghellato stand, a Nutella stand and face painting. Everyone has put a huge effort in and there is a lot more going on than just wine tasting. So there is something for everybody.”
Ms Mallos said she is visiting Cambewarra, Coolangatta Estate, Silos and Two Figs for Hot Potato today and is looking forward to hearing people’s feedback.
She said the goal was to make the rapidly growing festival celebrating local produce in the Gerringong and Shoalhaven area better every year. And attract more visitors to the region.