Clare Valley Festival of the Lamb

Clare Valley Festival of the Lamb

The Mintaro Progress Association are proud to announce the inaugural Clare Valley Festival of the Lamb 16 – 22 September 2020.

Ross Mallett Chairman of the Mintaro Progress Association says, “ Our association works to enhance amenities in the town, organize community events and provide a community forum. A key focus is supporting the local heritage, community and businesses including our ability to link and connect with other villages in the Clare and Gilbert Valleys. The festival is designed to showcase key industry sectors of tourism, hospitality, broadacre and sheep farming, viticulture and wine production.”

“ We have designed the Clare Valley Festival of the Lamb as a multi-day festival and for 2020 will focus on the villages of Mintaro, Sevenhill, Watervale and Auburn with plans to expand in the coming years. It will be a great opportunity for us to celebrate and invite others to visit and share with us during what has been a tough time with the impact to our farmers and tourism operators by the drought and COVID-19.”

The festival is designed to become an annual spring equinox festival featuring the first buds of the vines and the premier time for new-season lamb that is lean, tender and ideal for a wide range of recipes. The timing also coincides with the rolling hills of the Clare Valley transforming into fields of gold, with canola flowers cropping up around every corner.

With the focus of the festival being lamb, several hotels and restaurants from the villages are partnering their chefs and visiting guest chefs with local farmers to feature lamb inspired menus matched with local wines.

The Clare Valley community is invited to contribute to the festival by providing 2-3 local images of what the sheep industry means to them. These will be collated into a visual display and shown at a free Plains Producer Community Story Telling and Open Air Cinema event on Wednesday 16 September (ticketed event).  People will be invited to bring their deck chairs and rugs and sit back to watch the images of the Clare Valley sheep industry on the big screen before enjoying the 1975 feature film  Sunday Too Far Away. The winner of four major prizes at the Australian Film Awards in March 1975 and filmed just north of the Clare Valley.

There will be an industry tour and luncheon (ticketed event) on Thursday 17 September which will include a visit to Kelvale Kelpie Stud Farrell Flat, Bungaree Station and Martindale Farm. The luncheon will feature keynote speaker Warwick Powell, Chairman of BeefLedger, and Sister City Partners Limited who both have a focus on developing links between regional Australia and the markets of Asia. Warwick has experience in diverse industries including cattle and sheep production and processing, information and communication technology and is linked with the Food Agility CRC and an Adjunct Professor at Queensland University of Technology. Hon John Dawkins MLC will provide a presentation on the need for wellbeing through his role as Premier’s Advocate for Suicide Prevention.

Sunday 20 September will be a Wool and Fibre Exhibition at the Mintaro Institute, Mintaro 10am – 3pm (free event) featuring local artisans and their use of wool in an exhibition / market including knitting (learn to knit a lamb), felting and spinning exhibitions.

Current venues who are confirmed to hold events are:

  • Magpie and Stump Hotel Mintaro
  • Paulett Wines & Bush DeVine Café Polish Hill River
  • Reillys Wines Mintaro
  • Mintaro Mews Mintaro
  • The Rising Sun Hotel Auburn
  • Watervale Hotel Watervale
  • Penobscot Farm Watervale

One of the visiting Chefs will be International Chef Michael Brine who is a Chef Outta Water Associate and is based at his restaurant A Touch of Salt in North Queensland. Michael has been on several international exchanges into South Korea, China and USA and was a guest chef for the judges of the 2019 Hot 100 Wines held in Adelaide last year.

Other venues are invited to be involved and a program will be published with details of the Festival and where to book for events at the start of August.

For further information or to get involved contact Clare Valley Festival of the Lamb coordinator Simon Millcock on 0407819000 or email [email protected]

This festival has been made possible through funding support from the Australian Government by way of the Building Better Regions Fund, the Clare and Gilbert Valleys Council, and Meat and Livestock Australia.

1 Comment
  • Simon Millcock
    Posted at 09:28h, 24 July Reply

    Full program to be ready by 31 July but start getting your images for the sheep industry to Stu Nankivell [email protected] for the Plains Producer Community Story Telling event.

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