Autumnal appetites – the food and wine festivals to satisfy the season

No need to lament the end of summer, autumn is rich with appetising possibilities. Read on for a selection of the season’s most anticipated food and wine festivals.

With summer drawing to a close, it is time to welcome the low-key allure of autumn. Along with shorter days and a decrease in temperature, autumn gives us an abundance of seasonal produce in Victoria: welcome back, wild mushrooms, quince, eggplant and chestnuts. Also returning, the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, which is back for its 27th year, and all across the state, fresh produce, food markets, winemakers, chefs and hospitality experts are getting together to stage some major food and wine festivals.

Wangaratta Racing Food and Wine Carnival

2-3 March 2019

The Wangaratta Racing Food and Wine Carnival brings together the food and wine of the High Country with the best in country racing at the iconic Wangaratta Racecourse. Racegoers will also enjoy Fashions on the Field, free children’s activities and family entertainment throughout the weekend.

For more information visit the Wangaratta Racing website.

Group of people on a long table at the 2018 Food and Wine FestivalMelbourne Food and Wine Festival

8-24 March 2019

The biggest food festival of its kind in the southern hemisphere hosts over 250 events across the state from Melbourne’s restaurants, laneways and rooftops to regional Victoria’s farm gates, wineries and outdoor spaces. From degustation menus and garden parties to gastronomic treasure hunts and celebrity chefs, there’s something for everyone’s taste at the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.

Plan ahead by visiting the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival website.

Tastes of Rutherglen

9-10 March 2019

This year the Tastes of Rutherglen showcases 19 of the region’s best wineries. Visitors will be able to sample the incredible flavours of Rutherglen with a progressive feast from winery to winery where the region’s best produce will be served up alongside the best local drops.

Visit the Tastes of Rutherglen website for more information.

Grampians Grape Escape

4-5 May 2019

The annual Grampians Grape Escape celebrates the winemakers, brewers and local growers of Western Victoria. Visitors can taste their way through 120 market stalls, meet their favourite chefs from the region, take a masterclass and enjoy live music and family entertainment throughout the weekend.

Tickets available from the Grampians Grape Escape website.

Antipasto platter with cheese and bread

Plate Up Ballarat

1-31 May 2019

Spanning 31 days and nights, Plate Up Ballarat offers a diverse program of craft beer and boutique wine tastings, Ballarat’s best pie competition, fresh produce markets as well as an array of local food offerings. During the festival, why not also explore the surrounding Pyrenees and Grampians wineries, farm gates and breweries?

Details available from the Plate Up Ballarat website.

Feast High Country Festival

3-19 May 2019

The Feast High Country Festival showcases the best of the High Country region’s food, wine and artisan produce. Held over three weekends in May, festival-goers will have over 40 events to choose from including cooking workshops and demonstrations, sit-down feasts and wine and craft beer tastings served up by Victoria’s best chefs and local producers.

Plan ahead by visiting the Feast High Country Festival website.