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Bendigo Winegrowers Association celebrates 30 years

The 30th Annual General Meeting (AGM) for the Bendigo Winegrowers Association will be held tomorrow, Thursday 18 September, 2008. To mark the occasion of 30 years, the association will hold a Celebration Dinner and the AGM at the Marong Hotel where the first meeting of winegrowers was held.

The local wine association began in 1978 when there were less than 10 wineries in the district. It was primarily formed for winemakers to come together to address viticulture professional development issues and to develop the region as a winegrowing area.

Those in attendance at the first meeting included Balgownie Estate (S. Anderson), Blanche Barkly Wine (D. Reimers), Chateau Doré Winery (I. Grose), Chateau Leamon (P. Leamon) and Water Wheel Vineyards (D. Von Saldern). Five other growers from Heathcote and Kyneton also became members at that time as the Bendigo Winegrowers Association then took in the districts of Heathcote and the northern part of Macedon Ranges.

Thirty years on, there are now more than 35 wineries in the Bendigo Wine Region and the region has become known for the production of award-winning rich, ripe reds and other varietals. More than 30 cellar doors open and have added to the Bendigo tourism experience, with cellar door visits offering a ‘meet the maker’ opportunity, picturesque scenery and wine tastings.

The evening will include special guests, the regular proceedings of an Annual General Meeting and a locally-produced dinner.

In attendance will be highly-regarded winemaker Stuart Anderson who started Balgownie Estate in 1969 and internationally acclaimed winemaker Ron Laughton from Jasper Hill now located in the Heathcote Wine Region. Both will be keen to offer some insights and stories about the association’s past, present and future at the event.

“Our longevity as an association is worthy of great celebration,” said Paul Greblo, current President of Bendigo Winegrowers Association.

“It is the partnerships and relationships between wineries that add strength to the region, allowing our profile to continue to grow in the marketplace.”

For more information about the wines and wineries of the Bendigo Wine Region visit the comprehensive website at www.bendigowine.org.au

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