Vintner’s Secret Vineyard owner Marianne Lethbridge with her award from the Fraser Coast South Burnett Tourism Awards for Excellence.
Vintner’s Secret Vineyard owner Marianne Lethbridge with her award from the Fraser Coast South Burnett Tourism Awards for Excellence. GARY HUTCHISON

Winery wins tourism first prize

FIRST prize in a tourism award's winery category was just the sweet treat Vintner's Secret Vineyard owners Ed Murray and Marianne Lethbridge needed to celebrate three years at their Childers property.

The pair, who won the award at the Fraser Coast South Burnett Tourism Awards for Excellence on Saturday night, said they were given some good advice when they started their venture.

“We were told we wouldn't make a living out of growing grapes for wine production and sales out of the cellar door, and that we needed to branch out into other things to be able to survive,” Ms Lethbridge said.

Taking that advice on board, they diversified the operation to include the provision of entertainment, holding functions such as weddings and engaging with the arts, and have not looked back.

Ms Lethbridge said their mission statement was: “Everyone will leave here feeling better than when they came.”

Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort also won awards in two categories: environmental tourism and the Chairman's Award for the best submission.



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