The contract for the construction of a winery trail in Murrumbateman has been given to local construction company Complete Civil.

Yass Valley Council had previously allocated $2,229,000 towards the Murrumbateman Winery Trail project to provide a shared cycleway and connect a number of the Murrumbateman wineries.

The project is part of the Federal Government’s “Building Better Regions Program” and is due for delivery by the end of 2021.

The works will involve the laying of approximately 10.5km of concrete/asphalt, which will link the existing pathways on route to the wineries.

The contract heading to a Yass construction company means the money will be kept within the Yass Valley and provide jobs for some of the Yass Valley residents.

Graeme Shaw of Shaw Wines says the trail is very much in demand at present, with people wanting to cycle around to the various wineries in the region becoming more and more common.

“It’s certainly something that’s been on the uptake at the moment with a lot of the cycles; we’ve now got an electric supplier in Murrumbateman, plus the Abode Hotel hires out bikes.”

“We are seeing the electric ones more and more now,” he said.

Graeme says increasing the safety for those wanting to venture across to the different wineries is paramount and providing the public with greater options will only add to their experience of the wineries in the Yass Valley.

“If we can provide good, accessible, safe access, it’s just going to help everyone.”

“You quite often have a number who want to go around to different wineries over the one or two days.”

“The more offerings we can get to the public and more different options, the better,” he said.

Whilst Graeme thinks wineries in Murrumbateman have likely reached their “quantum”, he believes the ones that exist now still have plenty of opportunities to grow.

“I think everyone’s making the effort to improve their service and facilities, and in that respect, we still have an opportunity to develop considerably,” he said.

With the winery trail expected to be ready for use by the end of this year, perhaps we should expect an injection of tourists to the Yass Valley for summer 2022.

Max O’Driscoll