Orange Wine Festival cancelled after Wine Show, public tasting scrapped

FESTIVAL: Final day of last year's event at Zona in Summer Street. Photo: CARLA FREEDMAN
FESTIVAL: Final day of last year's event at Zona in Summer Street. Photo: CARLA FREEDMAN

The Orange Wine Festival has been formally cancelled for 2020 due to coronavirus restrictions.

On Monday the Orange Region Vignerons Association made the call to cancel the 2020 Orange Wine Show and public tasting, one of the key events which underpins the festival.

Along with the previously cancelled Night Market and Wine in the Wines, a statement from the ORVA said the festival could "no longer proceed as planned".

Instead, the Orange wine region will be celebrated throughout the month of October at a series of virtual, small scale and independently run events at our regional cellar doors and restaurants.

This month-long celebration allows for the safe dispersal of smaller events, all of which are certified COVID-safe and are operating within NSW government guidelines.

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Events will continue to adhere to current public health orders, and ticket holders are encouraged to confirm the cancellation policy with individual event hosts before purchase.

OVRA president Nicole Samodol said it had been a tough 12 months for vignerons.

"After years of drought, our 2020 vintage was impacted by the devastating New South Wales bushfires at the start of the year. Little did we know that COVID-19 was just around the corner, closing our region's Cellar Doors for 12 weeks," she said.

"We are continuing to provide our members with the most up to date information on COVID Safe business practices to support the ongoing and safe operation of wineries and cellar doors across the region."

The festival joins a host of other events across Orange and the wider region which have been completely cancelled, postponed or significantly pared back.