GRAPE goes up against grain in a tight tussle at Glenrowan next month.
Taminick Cellars will host Hop Vs Grape on Saturday, May 11, as part of the Feast High Country Festival.
Taminick Cellars fourth-generation winemaker James Booth will struggle to play favourites in the challenge, however.
He founded Black Dog Brewery almost eight years ago to add another string to the bow for the family business.
"We have five core beers plus our seasonal styles now," he said.
James will use matched food by Rinaldo's Adam Pizzini in a bid to encourage wine buffs and beer lovers alike to broaden their beverage horizons and taste the other side of the equation.
Hop Vs Grape will offer a five-course degustation, paired with Taminick wines and Black Dog Brewery beer.
James' great grandfather Esca Booth established the original vineyard on the site during 1904.
After Taminick battled drought and phylloxera in the early 20th century, the vineyard restoration began during 1919 with shiraz, trebbiano and alicante bouchet planted on resistant rootstock.
James said the vineyard had held up well through variable seasons.
"These old vines are still cropping; last year some of them cropped like when they were 20 years old," James said.
James said they used irrigation water from the Mokoan system on their vines.
He said some traditionalists might frown on supplementing grapevines with water.
"At the end of the day, if you look at the vineyard and it's still going strong after 100 years, I'd rather look at it that way," he said.
"Everything needs water."
A bus service will operate from Wangaratta for Hop Vs Grape, which runs 6.30pm to 10.30pm.
Melbourne chef Scott Pickett is on board for the festival this year.
Pickett is the much-awarded driving force behind Estelle in Northcote, Saint Crispin in Collingwood, Pickett's Deli & Rotisserie at the Victoria Market and newest venture, Matilda across from the Botanic Gardens.
Pickett will team up with Wahgunyah-based chef Simon Arkless at his Chef's Hatted The Terrace restaurant at All Saints Estate, for a four-course luncheon - The Estelle x The Terrace Restaurant - with matched wines on Saturday, May 4.
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