I’ve just returned from my fifth Vintage Festival in the Barossa Valley. An event that celebrates the end of the vintage in one of Australia’s premiere wine growing regions. After hard months of tending the vines and harvesting, the community is ready to open a bottle of wine or two and let down their hair.
The Vintage Festival is a mix of events that allows wineries to showcase the best of their wines as well the Valley enjoying a broad range of community activities. There are several winery lunches and dinners, local history tours, craft shows and musical soirees. The festival has evolved over the years but one tradition remains a constant. The Scarecrow Competition.
And what a competition! Families and community groups, vineyards and farms, local businesses and services all enter into the spirit of the event, populating the Valley with a crazy array of characters. With old clothes, odd hats, racy underwear and straw sticking out all over the place, the Valley comes alive with scarecrows that turn up in the most unexpected places.
There are scarecrow families that spring up in fields, vitner scarecrows that appear at cellar doors and scarecrows on porches and front yards dotted throughout the towns. If there’s a common theme, I’d suggest it’s the wine glasses and bottles clutched in many gloved hands. There are prizes to be had but for most, it’s just a chance to enter into the fun and celebrate the end of vintage. Here’s a litle video I made of some of the locals…
If you do visit during The Vintage Festival, drop into the visitor’s centre at Tanunda to grab a copy of the Scarecrow Trail guide so you can meet some of the friendly locals on your travels.
I am participating in the Weekly Postcard Link Up run by Selim’s Raasta. Pop on over to see this travel crazy family.