Festival Director - 2017 Barossa Vintage Festival
It is an absolute honour to be invited to deliver the 70th Anniversary of the Barossa Vintage Festival. Not only is it South Australia’s largest regional festival but it is also a deeply personal festival for the people of the Barossa. Generations of family members all hold a cherished memory the festival and I absolutely love hearing their favourite stories from the past 70 years.
The 2017 program acknowledges and respects deep Barossan traditions while also creating opportunities for new festival traditions and memory-making experiences.
There’s the old favourites like the Barossa Wine Chapters Auction & Lunch, Ziegenmarkt, Long Lunches, Town Celebrations and the Barossa Scarecrows, but the 2017 program has been bolstered by marquee events including the Chook Shed Social Club, the Silver Raven Festival, Feast, Folk and Fossick at Lyndoch, and Punkt zu Punkt - a 33km hill climbing trail run through Riesling country.
There are over 90 events in the 2017 program and over a third of them are free entry. April 19 – 23 is the perfect time to stay in the Barossa for a couple of days, take it slow and immerse yourself in the Barossan way of life. Learn from the old-timers or seek out the vibrant young folk handcrafting new ideas in back sheds and cellars around the region. The Barossa is a truly unique region and the Barossa Vintage Festival is the perfect time to get swept away in it’s magic.
2017 Barossa Vintage Festival Ambassador
From the very first year we made the Barossa our home, the Vintage Festival has been part of my most treasured memories here. A week of wonderful events, rich with the handcrafted heritage and culture we all continue to draw upon as inspiration for our modern-day livelihoods, offers every opportunity to create new traditions along the way. One of the traditions our family has always associated with the Festival is watching the parade; come rain or shine, from when our girls were little, until now with their own children, we have always set up our roadside picnic, complete with a portable barbecue for locally made sausages and smoked bacon and topped off with a glass of local sparkling in hand. Good food, good wine and plenty of laughter - a true dose of the Barossa.
I can’t tell you how proud I am to say I’m from the Barossa. Our region has a cachet I know others envy, but it’s not something that can be easily replicated. This love of food, wine and music, and the community’s willingness and ability to pull together as a whole, are so entrenched they are now recognised as being part of the Barossa ethic. Barossans have never been the type to need an excuse to celebrate, but the 70th birthday of our beloved Vintage Festival certainly gives us every reason to share our table - and everyone’s invited!
Founding member of the inaugural 1947 Barossa Vintage Festival
A year after the end of the Second World War, Bill Seppelt called a special meeting to consider organising a Barossa Valley Vintage Festival; an event he had seen when studying Oenology in Europe prior to the War.
In 1946, the Barossa Council area consisted of several smaller Councils however each Chairman or Clerk was invited, together with leaders of the wine industry, growers, the South Australian Tourist Bureau through its local representative Martin Dallwitz, plus several high-profile business men.
Bill Seppelt detailed why and how these wine festivals were run in the European wine making areas. It was unanimously realised that such a Festival would not only promote the wine industry but also encourage greater tourism, which, in turn would make people aware of the Barossa’s culture, winemaking, old world cuisine and music.
It was agreed to hold a Festival during the 1947 vintage in the form of a Vintage Ball and then the following year add the Queen Competition and Float Procession.
A committee was formed and Bert Scholz was nominated as Chairman and President of the inaugural Barossa Valley Vintage Festival.
I am honoured that I was a member of the committee that created the nucleus of this now highly successful Australian and world-renowned Vintage Festival 70 years ago and served as President for six years.
Staff & Volunteers
Volunteers & Fundraising
The Chook Shed Social Club
Andrew Dundon (Co-Convenor)
Elli Beer (Co-Convenor)
Feast, Folk & Fossick
Sharyn Bobridge (Convenor)
Nicola Biagi (Young Ambassador)
Danielle Loffler (Young Ambassador)
Lena Stoll (Young Ambassador)
Ellie Neindorf (Young Ambassador)
Punkt zu Punkt
Anna Hayes (Convenor)
Jess Rehn (Young Ambassador)
James Fox (Young Ambassador)
Maddy Perry (Young Ambassador)
Deandra Goodchild (Young Ambassador)
Katherine Katalinic (Co-Convenor)
Olivia Brenecki (Young Ambassador)
Olivia Shannon (Young Ambassador)
Sage Krollig (Young Ambassador)
Jess Greatwich, the entire team at the Barossa Visitor Centre, Rebecca Tappert and The Barossa Council, Sgt Matthew Patterson, Nuri Futures Association, Angaston Town Group, Southern Barossa Alliance, Kent Aughey, Tourism Barossa Board and members, Rebecca Meston, Jem Warnest and Banjo Dundon, Jacob Habner (stobietownpress.com.au) and Kieran Ellis Jones (crystalarrow.com.au)