RUTHERGLEN is toasting a successful season on the show circuit despite a challenging year amid the coronavirus crisis.
More than half of the winemakers claimed local, national and international competitions or favourable reviews this year.
Winemakers of Rutherglen executive officer Annalee Nolan said 11 out of 19 member wineries gained awards and scored top reviews including in the prestigious International Wine and Spirit Competition, Halliday and The Real Review.
"Our winemakers are world-class and to win at the likes of London's prestigious International Wine and Spirit Competition continues to put Rutherglen on the map for Australian and international consumers," she said.
"This deserves to be celebrated and shared with our fellow Victorians and we can't wait to do that as we welcome visitors over the coming weeks and beyond."
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Ms Nolan said Rutherglen operators had experienced a rush on bookings since restrictions eased in Melbourne, reuniting the state's capital with regional Victoria.
"Our region is generally abuzz with tourists all year round and while it was quieter this year, for obvious reasons, that's definitely about to change given the number of inquiries our wineries have been experiencing over the past few days," Ms Nolan said.
"With restrictions eased, providing more freedom to move around the state, we are looking forward to welcoming Victorian neighbours from far and wide to once again enjoy all our region has to offer."
Ms Nolan said wineries had used their time over two lockdowns to focus on value-adding.
"They've done capital improvements, cellar door and long-stay projects; making the whole winery experience more enjoyable," she said.
"People have diversified and been very resilient."
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