With the festival marketplace becoming increasingly crowded (spilt your drink because you couldn’t move freely through the crowd? ahh…no thanks!) we’re hearing that more and more of you are looking for boutique options; where the experience is more chilled and relaxed.
We’re proud to be boutique and small in this crazy music industry and thought you might be interested to learn about couple facts we bet you didn’t know about us!
1. HANDPICKED IS COMPLETELY FAMILY OWNED AND RUN
The Handpicked venue, aka. Lake Breeze Wines, has been in the Follett family for 120 years and over 5 generations. My Uncle Greg (on the left) is the brains behind the award winning wines we produce, my Aunty Robyn (on the right) runs all our back of house and marketing (and Uncle Greg!) Not pictured is Uncle Roger who takes care of all our sales both domestically and internationally, Uncle Tim is the Vineyard Manager, me, my cousins, my mum, my brothers & sister fill in the gaps and Nanny & Grandpa, make sure we’re all doing it right!
2. 2016’s WEATHER STOLE SOME MARQUEES
As much as we wish we could, we can’t control the weather and unfortunately Handpicked copped some gail force winds in 2016! In fact if the winds were blowing just 2km/h more we would have had to cancel the whole event! Luckily and strangely, the sun actually ended up coming out and the day was saved! We did however lose some marquees to the vineyards and paddocks 1km away!
3. HANDPICKED WAS ALMOST CALLED ‘FRESH CUTTINGS’!
Coming up with a name for our festival was harder than we thought! I spent hours trawling through wine making magazines and circling random words that fit. As soon as I circled ‘handpicked’ though, I knew we’d found it!
4. GRANDPA CRIES EVERY HANDPICKED FESTIVAL!
Grandpa, Ken Follett is a big burly man…but cries in happiness every festival day! And depending on which cousin is the closest to him, they have to endure the same story about the days when there was just a small herd of cows on what is now the Handpicked Stage. He’s just a big softy at heart and gets so excited to share this same cow paddock with thousands of people!
5. ALL OUR BOTTLES & CANS FROM THE EVENT GO TO CHARITY
Each year the gorgeous boys and girls from the local scouts come and help us collect the leftover bottles and cans…so give yourself all a pat on the back for helping to contribute to a good cause!
6. UNCLE TIM HANDMADE THE FAMOUS WOODEN “HANDPICKED” SIGN
Uncle Tim, aka the handyman of the family, probably cringes in fear every time I approach him with “Uncle Tim, do you think you could…”. He built the famous wooden “Handpicked” letters out of Grandpa’s old floorboards! So next time you see him, tell him you love them so he keeps building us new pieces each and every year!
7. THE WINE AT HANDPICKED HAS WON GOLD EVERY YEAR FOR 30 YEARS.
The Lake Breeze Shiraz/Cab blend ‘Bernoota’ that you drink at Handpicked is a famous drop amongst wine aficionados, having won numerous gold medals each and every year since it’s creation 30 years ago! Time to start savouring that drop!
8. THE HANDPICKED SITE IS BUILT ON A FLOOD PLAIN!
No this isn’t a bad thing and yes, our vineyard loves it! I mean who needs the beach when you can kayak to work!
9. NOT JUST A WINERY & NOT JUST A MUSIC VENUE
Chances are if you’ve been to our Festival you’ve sat under our 100 year old gums. Well underneath those gums we’ve also been honoured to host a huge number of beautiful ceremonies! Oh…and behind Uncle Tim’s famous Handpicked wooden sign? Yup, that old barrel shed, turns into a wedding reception that only dreams are made of! See more Lake Breeze Wedding pics here.
10. SAM MAC & SUNRISE CONDUCTED HANDPICKED’S SOUND CHECK IN 2016!
The day before Handpicked Festival last year we were visited by Channel 7’s Breakfast Show ‘Sunrise’ Weather Presenter Sam Mac and his awesome team – completely out of the blue! So we were all up at the crack of dawn (literally, we’re talking 4am alarm people!) But man did we have fun! Nanny made everyone breakfast (so cute) and Sam Mac and I jumped on the Handpicked stage to test it out!