Grampians Grape Escape a (happy) hot time this weekend

April 28, 2006
Grampians Grape Escape a (happy) hot time this weekend

The Grampians Grape Escape is on this weekendApril 29 and 30 and Celebrity chef Stefano de Pieri of A Gondola on the Murray TV series fame is the executive chef for the annual event at Halls Gap.

Stefano will head forthe Grampians from Murray riverside Mildura where he runs the famous Stefanos restaurant. He will hold cooking demonstrations on both days for more than 5,000 visitors to Halls Gap, using regional produce in his mouth-watering creations.

Epicormic shoots burst through the bushfire black 14-02-06Those attending the Grampians Produce/Grampians Winemakers dinner on Saturday night, April 29 will be in for a treat, with Stefano the executive chef.

Stefano was born in Treviso near Venice and migrated to Australia in 1974. He dabbled with food - always his passion - in the early 80s, training for a little while in a professional environment, but finally chose a job in the Victorian Public Service. He became a private secretary to Minister Peter Spyker and then an advisor to a number of Ethnic Affairs Ministers.

Stefano assisted in the refurbishments of the Grand Hotel, Mildura and provided leadership in the area of beverage and food preparation. He was impressed with local produce - and local wine - but was frustrated by the lack of recognition of the district.

Flashback - Parkgate Resort, Halls Gap, gets a ringside seat at the fires, pic. Samantha MagillHe thought of a book that would include his food memories from his native Veneto and the produce of Mildura. The book took the title of Gondola on the Murray and after a few rejections from publishers it was accepted by ABC Enterprises, the publishing branch of the ABC. It was then turned into the television series A Gondola on the Murray.

Stefano's restaurant in the Grand Hotel is the recipient of many prestigious awards and continues to attract the support of many patrons. Stefano and his wife Donata continue a family tradition in hospitality with the hope of providing variety and interest for residents and the many visitors who come to Mildura.

The Grampians Grape Escape is in its 15th year and to have a highly regarded chef like Stefano actively part of the program says a lot for the regions reputation for award-winning food and wine, GGE organiser, Mike DiLisio told GoSeeAustralia today.

The Grampians Grape Escape, held at Halls Gaps sporting oval, brings out the best in the areas fine foods and wines. The Grampians is one of Victorias premium wine and food producing regions and tourist destinations, he said.

Revegetation Mount William Creek. Feb 24Grampians Grape Escape pilgrims can drink and graze their way around the makeshift village near the towns service centre. Regional producers come from all corners of the Grampians to showcase their painstakingly prepared goodies like olive oil, lentils, fruit and berries, yabbies, organic produce, venison and preserves. Around 25 winemakers from the region will cork hundreds of bottles to complement the delicious fresh foods.

There will be wine making seminars throughout the weekend, as well as cooking demonstrations, Mike DiLisio said. Get Down Gang (funky 6-piece band), Fat Pocket (string trio performing racy polka style), contemporary guitarist Nick Charles and Celtic group Aniar will back the relaxed atmosphere.

Hakea Pods get on with life 14-02-06Therell be fun for the kids as well as the odd game of petanque if you feel like stretching the legs. The Grampians region has been producing wine since the mid 1800s and boasts the oldest producing vines and underground cellars in Australia, Mike DiLisio said. The weekend gives visitors the chance to taste many different wines and cuisines and take home a supply. Halls Gap Visitor Information Centre can be contacted on 1800 065 599.

What: Grampians Grape Escape The Wine and Food Festival

Where:Halls Gaps sporting oval (visable from the main road)

When:Saturday 29 to Sunday 30 April, 10am to 4pm daily

Who:Celebrity chef Stefano de Pieri, regional food and wine producers

Cost: Entry and entertainment is free (and you get a souvenir drinking glass). Costs differ for food and wine tastings. Saturday night dinner tickets $95 (meal and wine included) available through Ararat Visitor Information Centre 1800 657158

More info: www.grampiansgrapeescape.com.au

It is green again. Dairy Creek, north of BellfieldParks Victoria reports on the state of the Grampians

The latest report from Parks Victoria on Grampians National Park road openings current closures and general park facility access is: When walking in fire affected areas please help the recovery process by keeping to walking tracks.

The following walking tracks have reopened: Mt.Gar (Difficult), Briggs Bluff and Tilwinda Falls Loop in the Mt. Difficult Range. This will also allow access to the Mt. Gar (Difficult) /Briggs Bluff overnight walk.

The amazing recovery power of plants near Hall GapROADS OPEN - Northern Grampians

1. Mt Zero Road: Halls Gap to Mt. Zero

2. Roses Gap Road

3. All roads north of Roses Gap Rd

4. All roads east of Mt. Zero Road

ROADS OPEN Central Grampians

1. Mt. Victory Road

2. Mt. Difficult Road (sealed section to Boroka Lookout)

ROADS OPEN Southern Grampians

1. Grampians Tourist Road

2. Mt. William Road

3. Billywing Road and Harrop Track

4. Glenelg River Road (from Woohlpooer to Strachans campground only), Jensens Road, Victoria Valley Road, Yarram Gap Road and all roads south of these roads.

ROADS CLOSED

1. Silverband Road (Wonderland)

3. All other Park roads not listed as open. Refer maps available from Parks Victoria

VISITOR SITES OPEN

Northern Grampians

1. Zumstein Picnic Area and Historic Walk

2. Walks to Mt. Zero, Mt. Stapylton, Hollow Mountain, Briggs Bluff, Beehive Falls, Mt. Gar (Difficult) and Tilwinda Falls Loop

3. Mt.Gar (Difficult)/Briggs Bluff overnight walk (Two days and one night)

4. Ngamadjidj and Gulgurn Manja Rock Art Shelters

5. Historic Heatherlie Quarry

6. Stapylton, Troopers Creek and Plantation campgrounds

7. Golton Gorge and Mt.Zero picnic areas

Central Grampians

1. Boroka Lookout, Reed Lookout and the Balconies Walk.

2. Fyans Creek Loop, Delleys Bridge Loop Walk and Lake Bellfield.

Southern Grampians

1. Walks to Mt. Sturgeon, Mt. Abrupt, Piccaninny and Mt.William (summit walk only)

2. Manja and Billimina Rock Art Shelters

3. Wannon, Strachans and Buandik campgrounds

Note: All overnight walkers to Mt.Difficult/Briggs Bluff must pre-register at Brambuk The National Park Cultural Centre

Walks in the Northern Grampians

1. ZUMSTEIN PICNIC AREA HISTORIC WALK

A gentle stroll will lead you around the Zumstein Historic Walk. At this site on the Mackenzie River, Walter Zumstein created a tourist settlement in the early 1900s. Please do not feed wildlife. The picnic area is a wonderful setting which houses electric BBQs and toilets with limited mobility access.

GoSeeAustralia Out There near Halls Gap this week2. MT STAPYLTON

A rugged strenuous walk with panoramic views Distance:4.6 km return Time: 2- 2 hours Elevation change: 278 metres Grade:hard Start: Mt Zero Picnic Area

This walk, suitable for fit and energetic walkers, can involve water crossings, slippery track surfaces, rock hopping and rock scrambling. Signs and track markers guide the way up the steep rock slope of Flat Rock to a splendid vantage point overlooking a natural amphitheatre. The track descends briefly to the base of the impressive Taipan Wall before continuing its steady climb along terraces to a track intersection. Follow signs and track markers on the final steep ascent, which involves some rock hopping and scrambling past a wind scoured cave. The view from the summit is spectacular, taking in much of the park and surrounding plains. Return by the same route.

3. MT STAPYLTON LOOP

... A memorable walk for the fit and adventurous Distance:12.2 km circuit Time: 5 5 hours Elevation change:230 metre Grade: hard Start: Stapylton Campground

This walk, suitable for fit and energetic walkers, can involve water crossings, slippery track surfaces, rock hopping and rock scrambling. A sign posted walking track leads through dense scrub and crosses Pohlner Road, continuing to a track intersection. Turn right and begin the steady climb up the timbered slopes.

Signs and track markers guide you over exposed rocky outcrops and through forested gullies. The final steep climb involves some rock hopping and scrambling over rock ramps. The summit views are spectacular, taking in much of the park and surrounding plains.

Return to the last intersection and follow the sign toward Mt Zero Picnic Area. The track follows water-etched rock terraces flanked by low vegetation, and leads into natural amphitheatre. Continue to a sign posted track intersection which will direct you back to Stapylton Campground.

4. NGAMADJIDJ SHELTER

... An Aboriginal camping place Distance: 300 metre circuit Time: 10 minutes Elevation change: 1 metre Grade: easy. Start: Stapylton Campground.

The walk from the car park to Ngamadjidj Shelter is short and suitable for people with limited mobility. This self-guided walk gives an insight into the culture and heritage of the local Aboriginal people.

This is an important Aboriginal rock art site. Please treat Ngamadjidj with respect. More information about local Aboriginal heritage is available at Brambuk - The National Park Cultural Centre at Halls Gap.

Editors note: Parks Victoria says Fire affected areas are fragile. Your impact now may have long term effects on regeneration. To aid recovery and rehabilitation please stay on designated open walking tracks.Parks Victoria advised GoSeeAustralia today (29.03.2006) that Grampians National Park camping is limited over the Easter break. Campers who have not already confirmed their sites are advised to contact Parks Victoria

The GSA tree. Regrowth from Dec 31 fire

The GSA tree. Regrowth from Dec 31 fire

By the end of March the GSA tree makes a green comeback

By the end of March the GSA tree makes a green comeback

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