After the success of last year’s inaugural event, the Fine Vines Festival will return later this year and the event’s organisers are seeking expressions of interest from wineries and vendors. The festival, designed as a boost for the region’s wineries and attractions during the traditional shoulder period, runs this year from October 14 to 23 “to celebrate the world-class wine and people of the Margaret River wine region,” co-organiser Erin Molloy said. Organisers hoped to develop an even bigger festival this year after the first outing included more than 30 events involving 80 local producers. More than 40 venues took part, attracting 3500 visitors, half of whom trekked down to the region and stayed overnight. Margaret River Wine Association chief executive Amanda Whiteland said the inaugural Fine Vines Festival delivered a lot of benefits for the region’s producers. “(It) exceeded our expectations the first year,” she said. “The curated program focused on the exceptional depth and diversity of vineyards and winemakers across the region. “It also included popular collaboration events like Open Vineyards and Busselton Wine Walk which enabled guests to meet many of the smaller winemakers who do not have a cellar door.” Ms Molloy encouraged locals and producers to get involved. An expression-of-interest form is available online via firstname.lastname@example.org.