A COCKTAIL evening showcasing the best of Gippsland's food and wine will be held in the Cobb and Co Stables, Raymond St, Sale, this Friday.
The event has been organised to bring some tourist dollars back to the region following the fires in east Gippsland.
Money raised will go directly to a 12-month marketing campaign driven by Central Gippsland Tourism and business and tourism associations within Wellington Shire to help boost local tourism and support local businesses in central Gippsland.
Event organiser and Gippsland Wines president Alistair Hicks encouraged people to go along and support the local community.
"Gippsland fires have scared off a lot of people and it's thousands of people out of the region, meaning so many small businesses have suffered," he said.
"From a viticulture point of view, the cellar door trade has suffered.
"Normally our busiest two weeks are at the start of January and we probably dropped 70 to 80 per cent of trade through our cellar door, so that heavily impacted us and our suppliers who are all locally based.
"All the wineries in Gippsland are in the same boat, plus all the hotels and restaurants.
"If you don't have the tourism element then people aren't taking wine off supermarket shelves, they're not filling our restaurants and ordering our wine off wine lists.
"The event is all about a reviving of Gippsland business and tourism in the region."
The event will begin at 6.30pm, and entertainment will be provided by musical talents Harry Hookey, The Soultanas and the Bradley Cruickshank Big Band.
Tickets are all inclusive at $150 each, which includes canapés, a grazing table and an open bar of local beer, wine and cider.
Tickets are available at www.trybooking.com/BHZUA.