“We felt that other wine and food festivals were stale,” says Vino Paradiso director, Matt Williams. “We wanted to create something with energy and a fun party atmosphere.”
If there’s one thing Williams and fellow festival director Kieran Tanner have in common, it’s energy. Sitting with them in a Redfern cafe they talk excitedly about the range of events that will happen across the three-day event in November.
“We want to take visitors on a tasting journey,” says Tanner of the tasting hall – where 117 wine, beer, cider and food stalls will be arranged by country and region of origin. “In the Argentinian section you’ll find Porteño next to Jed wines,” he says. A natural match. Nearly every wine-growing region in Australia will be represented, along with wines from Italy, France and New Zealand. On the food side, expect to find eats from Eat Art and Tsuru food trucks, Salt Meats Cheese, Serendipity Ice Cream, Hunter Valley Cheese Factory, Pana Chocolate and many, many more.
Williams and Tanner have brought together a group of “tastemakers” in various genres, including Three Blue Ducks’ Darren Robertson (culinary), bar consultant Grant Collins (cocktails), Oscar McMahon of Young Henrys (beer), Keystone group’s sommelier Sarah Limacher (wine) and others. All will conduct masterclasses – there are 22 – throughout the festival. Highlights include Canberra winemakers Nick Spencer and Hamish Young from Eden Road Wines giving the low down on cool-climate winegrowing, and Oscar McMahon from Young Henrys on home brew.
Completing the party vibe will be live art installations by top street artists, DJs and live music throughout the day. Guests will be invited to roll up their trousers and hop in a barrel of grapes to do some foot stomping of their own, and a daily treasure hunt will give punters the chance to taking home prizes of wine, beer, cider and food from the exhibitors.
Vino Paradiso runs from October 31–November 2, 2014 at the Australian Technology Park.
Tickets are available at vinoparadiso.com.au