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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Culinary trail breaks new tourism ground

A ground-breaking new food and wine trail handbook has been created to provide visitors with an 
Inspirational Food and Wine Journeys COVER with border 2014exclusive guide to the Margaret River Region's small-batch producers of food and wine.

The guide, which is being officially launched on Thursday 24th July at Fair Harvest Margaret River, is the brainchild of the Augusta Margaret River Tourism Association (AMRTA) and has been produced collaboratively and with funding assistance from the Shire of Augusta Margaret River and the Margaret River Regional Producers Association.

Titled "Inspirational Food and Wine Journeys", the handbook contains behind the scenes-style interviews with 19 local producers of hand-made cheese and chocolate, organic fruit and vegetables and boutique wines as well as personal recipes and a map to allow visitors to follow the trail around the region.

The AMRTA's Simon Latchford, who directed the project, said the guide was a first for the Margaret River Region.

"The inspiration for this guide came from a clearly increased demand for 'meet-the-maker'-type tourism experiences," said Mr Latchford.

"Visitors want to do more than just take a photo these days. They want to touch, smell, taste, get their hands dirty; go behind the scenes to meet a winemaker, a chef, a gardener - it's not just about the produce itself; it's about the people behind the produce.

"This guide also celebrates the 'little guys' - the aim is to build awareness for the outstanding food, wine and produce being generated by these smaller-scale, somewhat understated farmgate producers, who don't necessarily have the brand power of some of the bigger stakeholders in the industry," said Mr Latchford.

Katrina Lombardo, Director of the Margaret River Farmers' Markets, said she was delighted with the new guide.

"This is a truly wonderful piece of collateral - it's so exciting to have an official guide to the small producers of food and wine in the Margaret River Region," said Ms Lombardo.

"The criteria to participate in the guide was very strict - businesses had to be family owned and operated, wineries had to have a very low tonnage with all fruit being grown on the owners' properties, and food producers had to be regular sellers at the Margaret River Farmers' Market," she said.

"As a result, we have an authentic, genuine guide to small-scale food and wine producers which enhances the tourism experience of the Margaret River Region," said Ms Lombardo.

The guide is being officially launched at 5:30pm on Thursday 24th July, 2014 at Fair Harvest Margaret River, located on the corner of Carters and Burnside Roads.

Copies of the guide are free, and will be available at the Margaret River Farmers' Markets, the Margaret River and Augusta Visitor Centres, and selected local outlets.

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The Expeditionist

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