FOLLOWING THE TRAIL: Mildura Wines president, Anthony Murphy, right, with Mildura Mayor Glenn Milne at the launch of the Crafted Mildura Taste Trail on Wednesday night.

CAFE 1909 located on the banks of the Murray River, provided the ideal backdrop for the launch of the Crafted by Mildura Taste Trail on Wednesday night.

A joint initiative of Mildura Wines and Mildura Regional Development, the concept was launched in front of an audience of more than 80 invited guests, many of whom were stakeholder traders in the region, together with a raft of dignitaries and local politicians.

Mildura Wines president, Anthony Murphy, said Crafted by Mildura has been a long time in the making.

“When we first formed the development committee we really didn’t have any strong regional branding,” he said.

“However, when we joined forces with the Mildura Development Corporation, the idea for the brand evolved.”

Mildura Fruit Juices National Sales manager, Ben Israel, explained how the taste trail had its origins.

“When I came to Mildura I joined the development committee and thought,’ Why don’t we have a Crafted by Mildura taste trail?’ I had experienced the Bellarine taste trail first-hand when I lived in Ocean Grove,” he said.

“I had actually used the Bellarine map and knew the people behind it, and arranged for them to visit Mildura to present to our committee, which gave momentum to create the trail.”

Mr Israel said Crafted by Mildura was a natural fit for the region.

“With the beauty of the Murray River as the backdrop to the superb food and beverages we produce locally, this concept is a natural extension, particularly when you add the consumer farm-gate focus to it,” he said.

Mildura Mayor Glenn Milne is also enthusiastic about the initiative.

“This concept puts everything under one umbrella,” Cr Milne said.

“Unlike regions such as the Barossa and Yarra Valleys, Mildura hasn’t had a distinct regional profile.

“The term ‘crafted’ really points to something special, something made by hand with love and care.

“So now when we say it’s Crafted by Mildura, people will know that it is actually worth tasting and enjoying, and it will project a more up-market image of the region’s fare.

“The fact is we have some fantastic wines and food, particularly our fruit is second to none in taste and quality, and this concept will now be able to showcase in a manner deserving, it’s world class.”

The map, which showcases the region’s key producers, will be available at all tourist outlets and Crafted Mildura member’s places of business.

It is hoped locals and visitors who follow the trail, will find themselves on “a journey of discovery,” which is all about sharing the region’s story with the wider community.