9 June 2022

Mountain communities invite you to take a bite out of winter

| Edwina Mason
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Wine glass with Winter Bites Festival logo

The small mountain towns of Adelong and Batlow invite you to take a bite out of winter this year. Photo: Tourism NSW.

Communities west of the Snowy Mountains are inviting visitors to take a bite out of winter in the towns of Adelong and Batlow in June and August.

Both towns will host a single-day event as part of the Winter Bites Festival organised by Snowy Valleys Council and funded through the Regional Tourism Bushfire Recovery Grants.

Festival-goers will get the chance to rub shoulders with rock royalty and, more importantly, support the two small mountain towns that were razed by the 2019/20 Black Summer bushfires.

As the world watched, the Dunn’s Road Fire and The Green’s Valley Fire merged to create one ‘mega’ fire that burned through 402,650 ha of land over 50 days – the equivalent of 45 per cent of the LGA.

Towns, villages and farms were evacuated as the fire took everything in its path, including some of the region’s vineyards, orchards, homes and livestock, plus local forests including the fairytale Sugar Pine Forest at Bago State Park.

READ ALSO ‘Festival of W’ to put the Riverina on ice

The Winter Bites Festival was a response to the need to restore tourism to the region and financially support local businesses heavily impacted by bushfires and COVID-19.

Cool climate wines, chestnuts and berries were highlights of the Tumbarumba Winter Bites Festival in June 2021 when scores of locals and visitors rugged up at Courabyra Wines restaurant and vineyard to kick off the three-town, three-date initiative.

But as COVID restrictions came into play, the remaining two events were put on ice (so to speak).

A year later, the festivities and feasting set down for Batlow and Adelong are back in place, ready to showcase the region’s best.

Headlining the musical acts in Adelong on 18 June is Australian legend, singer-songwriter and musician Kasey Chambers whose beautiful country music voice will fill the winter air while the festival runs from midday to 6 pm.

READ ALSO WinterSun Festival brings food, entertainment and adventure to Merimbula

Nestled on the banks of Adelong Creek, this heritage gateway to the Snowy Mountains is the first stop on the Winter Bites Festival two-event trail this year.

Set to celebrate the delicious local produce and beverages of the Adelong region, this historic town with its gold mining beginnings will show off its renowned grass-fed lamb and beef at the Adelong Showgrounds.

Sip on a top drop from Riverina Gin or Ladbroken Distilling Co. and grab a sweet treat from Junee Licorice & Chocolate Factory.

There’s a contest currently running for a place at the judge’s table of the town’s first smoking BBQ competition – the Adelong Meat Up.

Four national teams will compete for the first-ever Adelong Meat Up trophy and prize pool using locally sourced beef and lamb.

According to organisers – no experience is necessary to become a judge, “just a willingness to consume significant quantities of beef, lamb, pork and chicken”.

The winner will receive training on the morning of the Meat Up and be required to come to the judges’ table when each plate is being presented.

Winter Bites Festival tickets grant access to view the competition, watch the judging and partake in demonstrations by leading butchers from across the state.

READ ALSO Snowy Valleys’ 100 km sculpture trail opens early May

Set amongst lush green pastures, panoramic vistas of orchards and grazing country, Batlow becomes the final stop on the Winter Bites Festival run sheet on 27 August.

Batlow is renowned for its apples, which will be celebrated alongside its chestnuts, hazelnuts, truffles, waratahs and more.

This stunning township will celebrate the region’s delicious local produce and beverages against the soundscape of some fantastic live music.

Australian alternative rock band You Am I will headline the epic line-up on the Batlow Showgrounds stage from midday to 6 pm.

Both events are ticketed, so book now to experience the best the region has to offer over two incredible winter afternoons.

Tickets are now on sale for the Winter Bites Festival Adelong taking place on 18 June from 12 pm to 6 pm.

Tickets are also on sale for the Winter Bites festival Batlow taking place on 27 August from 12 pm to 6 pm.

Free buses will run from Tumbarumba (via Batlow), Tumut and Wagga Wagga.

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