26 Apr, 2012 10:00 AM
Story and photograph by Kim Woods
Rob Yates has been exhibiting at the Henty Machinery Field Days (HMFD) for decades – firstly with sheep and now with wine.
The former Poll Dorset breeder and now vigneron was among the first exhibitors in the inaugural farm gate produce market at last year’s field days.
The market drew about 40 gourmet food producers from around Australia, with exhibitors and visitors deeming it a success.
Rob and his wife Julie were among the site holders with wine from their two hectare vineyard Yerong Creek Estate, south of Wagga.
“The farm gate market was chock-a-block full of visitors last year,’’ Mr Yates said.
“As far as wine selling goes, it was a success and we are coming back – it can only grow.”
Registrations are now being received for the farm gate produce market at this year’s HMFDs on September 18 to 20.
HMFD chief executive officer Graeme Hicks said the market would be expanded this year.
Mr Hicks said the market had drawn increased interest from regional wineries and gourmet food producers.
He said improved seasonal conditions over the past two years pointed to another successful event.
“It is looking like a bumper season for winter crops and, if registrations are any indication, we are in for an exciting 2012,’’ Mr Hicks said.
Improvements have been undertaken on the southern side of the field days grounds, with increased exhibitor sites.
Signage has also been enhanced in the produce market and lifestyle areas.
This year, the Henty Machinery Field Days is expected to cater for more than 800 exhibitors across 1100 sites.
For details visit www.hmfd.com.au