When Shane Holloway and Fran Austin purchased Delamere Vineyards, they got more than just the usual workings of such a business - they also took on a much-loved community event, one they've built upon ever since.
"It was sort of one of those events we inherited," Mr Holloway said of Shakespeare in the Gardens, held again at the weekend for the 18th time at the Piper's River site. The 11th since they became involved.
"In the early days it was always one of those events that just came along and you were lucky to get 100 people to it. It was just dependent on the weather and it used to be on in the middle of the day."
"When we took it over in our second year we pushed it back into the afternoon and it really sort of took off from there."
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"We had 100 tickets sold the day the event was announced [this year]."
In recent years, they have seen crowds of up to 300 and 400.
"To get 200 people on a day like [Sunday] even though the weather looked like it wanted to have a go - people are rock solid, keen to be there."
The event does provide an opportunity to hear what people think about the wine that year. But more than that - having moved to the state in the early 2000s and purchasing the operation just over a decade ago now - it brings the community together.
"There's a lot of familiar faces. My son and family have grown up with it," Mr Holoway said. “I love the property here, and it’s always been a very special place for us. It's also one of those events that's been around the community for a while."
"We've just been very fortunate there have been some die hard Shakespeare fans out there that come hell or high water."
"It's a long way for people to come out. I mean, Piper's River is not just around the corner. But we've pushed to have more links to the local community ... and advertise it a little more in Lilydale and Bridport."
Despite all this, Mr Holloway said it was unfortunately rare they get a chance to catch the acts themselves.
“I didn’t get to watch it [Sunday], I was busy working in the winery," he laughed.
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