Food and wine festival Taste Great Southern will be held from May 4 to 14 in 2023 with organisers placing a greater emphasis on encouraging visitors to stay in the region for longer and to take in several events.
CMS Events Director, Richard Campbell, whose company has been running the food and wine festival for the past seven years, said that with pandemic fears easing, the focus in 2023 would be on expanding the impact of the festival to a wider audience bringing visitors to the region from across Western Australia, interstate and overseas.
“We are creating a culinary calendar that will encourage people to visit the region, attend several events and at the same time take advantage of the spectacular landscape and tourism attractions this less visited corner of Australia has to offer,” Mr Campbell said.
Timed to fit in with the end of the renowned wine region’s grape harvest and at a time of the year when accommodation and resources are more available, around 30 events will be spread evenly over the 11-day festival.
As well as expanding their culinary knowledge visitors will be able to take a self-drive tour following a Regional Trail – Wine, Food & Discovery. The Great Southern, spread over an area around the size of Switzerland, includes the region’s major population centres of Albany, Denmark, Mt Barker, Kojonup, Katanning and Bremer Bay.
From the marron farms and Tree Top Walk in Nornalup and Walpole’s forests of giants to the Orcas of Bremer Bay is a 300km drive from west to east and from Akoya Oysters and the natural wonders of Albany in the south to broad acre faming in Kojonup to the north is 160km. It includes nationally acclaimed wine from five unique sub regions: Frankland River, Mt Barker, Porongurup, Denmark and Albany.
“For visitors from Perth and other parts of the state, and particularly for interstate and overseas visitors making the just under five-hour drive from Perth, it makes sense to stay a while and combine the stunning autumn attractions with the wine and food of Taste Great Southern,” Mr Campbell says.
REX Airlines has several one hour and 10-minute flights to and from Perth and Albany each day.
More than 30 chefs from the region and across the state, along with an international and interstate guest chef will explore the rich range of local produce to show off their talents at a wide range of culinary experiences.
Mr Campbell said chefs always talk about the Great Southern produce they get to use including an amazing selection of seafood, beef, lamb, dairy, and heirloom vegetables.
“Chefs are able to talk to protein suppliers and select their preferred cuts of beef, lamb, pork and chicken. Or they can order the fish they want straight from the boat. Local farmers are happy for the visiting chefs to call out and see the best produce available and then readied for the table,” Mr Campbell said.