WINERY WALKABOUT: Thousands get in the spirt | GALLERY

THOUSANDS of people flocked to Rutherglen at the weekend for the biggest event on the town’s calendar.

The Winery Walkabout again proved popular as warm weather and blue skies greeted wine lovers.

Corowa’s Kia Belsher was one of 57 young people dressed as senior citizens for the event.

“It’s a great day with good wine, good people and a great atmosphere,” she said.

“We always dress up and this year we decided to go as seniors.”

Tom and Fran Lowe attended the event for the 15th time, which Mr Lowe described as “special”.

Rutherglen Estates cellar door manager Jim Doyle said the weekend was easily the winery’s busiest all year.

“We have 15 staff on, whereas on a normal Sunday we’d have two to three,” he said.

“Sales have gone well above what we expected to sell.”

The traditional grape stomp in the town’s main street again proved popular as member for Murray Valley Tim McCurdy and teammate Renee Chandler took the honours.

Indigo Council mayor Bernard Gaffney said the weekend could generate up to $10 million for the region.

“I’d expect all the acc-ommodation providers to be full in the area,” he said.

“The only issue is the crowd is so big the mobile coverage has dropped out, which could be an issue if a serious incident occurs.

“But it is a great weekend.”

Store owners also had issues with EFTPOS machines as services stopped working.

“We’ll sell well over 12,000 pies over the weekend,” Parker Pies owner Fred Parker said.

“The good weather is out, which has a great impact on crowd numbers and is good for the community.

“I’m just concerned the EFTPOS service has gone out and will be a disruption.”

About 20,000 people were expected to attend the two-day event.