A community tradition and celebration since 1947 and now one of Australia's longest running regional festivals.
The first Barossa Vintage Festival was a single event in 1947 - a Gala Ball to celebrate the end of vintage and the end of World War Two. Following a successful event in 1947, the Ball continued in 1948 in Nuriootpa, attracting 'one of the biggest crowds', and if the newspaper reports are anything to go by, it was one celebration, "Nuriootpa. - If ever a town were in a carnival mood, it was Nuriootpa last night.".
Despite the Festival expanding and growing over the decades, it is still a much loved community event and a celebration the entire Barossa community, young and old, looks forward to. The five-day Festival provides a chance to reflect, celebrate and come together as a community and showcase the many elements that make the Barossa lifestyle what it is todayand is an honest and authentic celebration and showcase of the Barossa's wine, food, music, art and culture.
Now 70+ years on, the Barossa Vintage Festival is still a much loved community event and a celebration the entire Barossa community, young and old, looks forward to.
Bi-ennially the Vintage Festival Program evinces the generosity of the Barossa community, tells the Barossa wine story through art, culture, music and culinary inspired events and invites other people into to experience the famed hospitality and lifestyle of one of Australia’s premier wine regions.
We look forward to sharing the Barossa lifestyle with you during the 2021 Barossa Vintage Festival.
HISTORY OF THE FESTIVAL
The Barossa Vintage Festival is stepped in history. The idea of founding fathers, the late Colin Gramp and Bill Seppelt, the Festival started from humble beginnings in 1947 has continued to grow to become one of South Australia, if not Australia's, longest running community Festivals.
The late Colin Gramp is remembered fondly by many as a true icon and pioneer of the Barossa, as a tireless contributor to the wine industry and founding member and past president of the Barossa Vintage Festival. Integral in the establishment of the Barossa Vintage Festival, Colin spoke with pride about Festival's gone by and the evolution of the Festival, which now attracts interest and visitation from interstate and overseas.
Ahead of the 70th anniversary of the Festival in 2017, Colin sat down to share memories and moments in history that helped shaped today's bi-enneial community celebration.
"A year after the end of the second World War, Bill Seppelt called a special meeting to consider organising a Barossa Valley Vintage Festival; an event he had seen when studying Oenology in Europe prior to the War.
"In 1946, the Barossa Council area consisted of several smaller Councils however each Chairman or Clerk were invited together with leaders of the wine industry, grape growing, the South Australian Tourist Bureau through its local representative Martin Dallwitz, plus several high-profile business men.
"Bill Seppelt detailed why and how these wine festivals were run in the European wine making areas. It was unanimously realised that such a Festival would not only promote the wine industry but also encourage greater tourism which in turn make people aware of the Barossa’s culture, winemaking, old world cuisine and music.
"Incorporating the towns and villages to take an active role in a Vintage Festival would encourage them to become Barossa promotional. It was agreed to hold a Festival during the 1947 vintage in the form of a Vintage Ball and then the following year add the Queen Competition and Float Procession. Further years to consider additional major event.
"A committee was formed and Bert Scholz was nominated as Chairman and President of the inaugural Barossa Valley Vintage Festival.
"I am honoured that I was a member of the committee that created the nucleus of this now highly successful Australia and world renowned Vintage Festival 70 years ago and served as President for six years." - an excerpt from an interview with Colin, as published in the 2017 Barossa Vintage Festival program.
Vale Colin Gramp
Read more of Colin's passion and love for the Barossa Vintage Festival in The Barossa Mag.
“Barossans working together for the Barossa – that’s the very heart of the Vintage Festival.” - the late Colin Gramp