Murrumbateman wineries ready for return of Canberra visitors | The Canberra Times

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With the countdown underway to the lockdown that ends in ACT, Shaw Wines director Tanya Olinder says Murrumbateman is ready for us. “We have a brand new basement door and a very large building. We can have 64 people in our main room. Then we have a private wine club member’s room and we can have 15 in there,” Olinder said. “Outside, we can have twice as many as inside, so we are actually allowed to have more people than we have chairs and tables.” With ‘Freedom Day’ in NSW on Monday, the wine region Murrumbateman has got ready to come visitors. But one question still remains. “We do not know when Canberra will open up to us,” Olinder said. As the ACT lockdown ends in less than a week, Canberran’s thirsty. While the plan had been to cancel home bookings for travelers to NSW when the state reached its 80 per cent, a new premiere and a new roadmap have put the future in doubt. On Friday, NSW cross-border commissioner James McTavish said whether Canberra residents would be allowed to travel within the regional bubble for unimportant reasons next weekend was still being determined. He said a statement would likely be published mid-week. In Murrumbateman, Mrs Olinder expected a steady stream of visitors from Monday, ahead of a rush they expect over the summer. “We’re all ready to go. We have all the new wines we just released this week, including our first sparkling wine in three years,” she said. “We’re all excited, but no one here can try it!” Just down the road, Eden Road Wine’s basement door manager Guillermo Moreno Torres has begun preparing tastings from next week. “We’re opening the basement door on Wednesday the 13th, almost quietly, you know? Then we want Canberra to come and visit us when you’re out of the lockdown,” he said. The Argentine native said he was humbled by the shock the Australians showed to the local wine industry last summer. He expected 2021 to be no different. “It was incredible, you know? It was so beautiful to see,” Mr Moreno Torres said. “To see people come to the cellar door and tell me, ‘This is the first time in the Canberra wine region, I did not know it was so delicious.'” Australians are discovering their backyard and they love it! “Murrumbateman Winery owner and winemaker Bobbie Makin said the plan was to ease reopening next week by continuing its bottle trade service. He said the winery’s wine tastings and food offerings would be back the following weekend, with live music to follow. READ MORE COVID NEWS: Mr Makin said that while vaccine passes and changes to reopening rules had initially created some anxiety, the warm weather over the weekend had bought a change of attitude. “I’m a little excited to just start up again, I think.” said Mr Makin “” We will plan things closer to the 90 per cent vaccination rate and then start putting on live music and dinner parties and opportunities for people to have a really good sitting experience. “Our coverage of health and safety aspects of this outbreak of COVID- 19 in ACT, and lockdown is free for all to access. However, we rely on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you can, you can subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support. You can also sign up for our regular newsletter. Our journalists work hard to deliver local, up-to-date news to the community. Here’s how to continue accessing our trusted content:


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