Food and Wine event organised for regional Victoria

Melbourne Food and Wine’s Festival’s Crawl ‘n’ Bite concept is expanding to Ballarat.

The launch of the Made of Ballarat Pop Up Shop in Melbourne will promote Ballarat’s world class food and wine experiences and handcrafted products.

Minister for tourism and major events John Eren joined Visit Ballarat CEO Noel Dempsey, chairman of Food and Wine Victoria Radek Sali and mayor of Ballarat Samantha McIntosh on October 18 to announce the events, which will help drive visitation to regional Victoria.

The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival’s Crawl ‘n’ Bite series brings diners together who sample the best of Victoria’s food and drink over three separate venues in one evening.

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“These events are a great platform to share what regional Victoria has to offer, creating opportunities to get the world talking about Australia’s premier food and wine destination and talented makers,” said Eren.

The inaugural regional series will be hosted in Ballarat, Healesville and Kyneton in March over a weekend dedicated to regional experiences that showcase Victoria’s restaurants, food bowls and wineries.

The series will not only help to grow local tourism by enticing more visitors to enjoy the renowned food and wine experiences of regional Victoria, but will it also encourage visitors to stay longer.

Dempsey said Visit Ballarat is incredibly excited about the announcements, which are testament to the wealth of product Ballarat has to offer the most discerning visitor.

For those unable to make it to the region, the Victorian government is bringing the best of Ballarat’s food producers and artisans to Melbourne through the $2 million Regional Events and Innovation Fund (REIF).

The REIF will fund the Made of Ballarat Pop Up Shop which will offer everything from goat’s cheese and locally made gin to handcrafted wrought iron and merino wool beanies.

The REIF provides support to develop and deliver more innovative regional local campaigns and a strong calendar of events which will help bring visitors to our regions, support businesses to grow and create more jobs for locals.

About 4.2 million visitors enjoyed a food and wine experience during their stay in Victoria in the year ending March 2018.

In the same period, regional Victoria received 50.1m visitors who spent $9.7 billion.