Port Macquarie's Douglas Vale celebrates 150 years.

CONSERVING HISTORY: The conservation of the estate is thanks to the unrelenting dedication of the volunteers from the Douglas Vale Conservation Group.

CONSERVING HISTORY: The conservation of the estate is thanks to the unrelenting dedication of the volunteers from the Douglas Vale Conservation Group.

Nestled in the heart of Port Macquarie is Douglas Vale. An unexpected but delightful treat and perhaps one of the best keep secrets on the Mid North Coast.

This unique historic tourist attraction has been developed by the local community to bring back and interpret the last remaining fabric of a successful wine industry of the 1800's.

TASTY TIPPLE: Why not try The Heritage Red. It is a wine with subtle oak aromas to entice its plum and fruity characteristics. For a fresh white wine try Cottage Rose.

TASTY TIPPLE: Why not try The Heritage Red. It is a wine with subtle oak aromas to entice its plum and fruity characteristics. For a fresh white wine try Cottage Rose.

An unique opportunity to discover and sample the delights of Douglas Vale is coming up.

To celebrate 150 years since the first harvest, locals are invited to take part in huge festivities at Port Macquarie’s oldest winery on Saturday, April 22.

Bring the whole family along to enjoy live music, vintage cars, tours of the homestead museum, trash and treasure stalls, craft displays and wine-tasting.

The vineyard is located at 235 Oxley Highway, near Widderson Street.

The event will be held 9.30am-3pm and entry is by gold coin donation. 

LOCAL HISTORY: The vineyard was established in 1859 by the Francis family and named after the original owner "George Francis's" wife's family, who were Scottish.

LOCAL HISTORY: The vineyard was established in 1859 by the Francis family and named after the original owner "George Francis's" wife's family, who were Scottish.

Enjoy Devonshire teas, a barbeque and tasty treats with live music and entertainent all day. Tours will run with the last tour starting at 2pm. The property is wheelchair access friendly.

“There will also be a special release of a new premium port aged in oak since 2009,” said Kay Morrison, Functions Co-ordinator at Douglas Vale Historic Homestead and Vineyard.

“Douglas Vale is the only volunteer run, working vineyard in Australia. It’s also a very important part of Port Macquarie’s history.  All funds raised are used for the continuing conservation, interpretation  and maintenance of this historic property, comprising of approximately four acres,” Kay said.

Another highlight of the celebration will include a live performance of ‘The Story of Douglas Vale’, a historical account of the property’s development. This show will start at 11:15am.

“The first Douglas Vale Vintage was in 1867 from Isabella vines. These were imported from America. The vineyard developed into one of the finest vineyards in the district, winning many European awards. By 1898, it was one of the largest of 46 vineyards in the Hastings. Port Macquarie now has seven wineries remaining. Douglas Vale features the oldest, original timber homestead in Port Macquarie. When you visit, you can experience the lives of pioneer men and women,” Kay said.

“We really enjoy seeing people come and enjoy the place. There are so many people who don’t even know the place exists,” President Brian Buckett said. 

There are over 20 years of dedicated labour put into the vineyard by volunteers and Mr Buckett said they are always looking for more people to help.

The Douglas Vale celebration coincides with 2017 Heritage Week April 21-28.

For more details visit douglasvale.com.au.

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