Ernie Angelosanto, Tony Pilati and Sally Sullivan at the Ballina Food and Wine Festival.
Ernie Angelosanto, Tony Pilati and Sally Sullivan at the Ballina Food and Wine Festival. Amber Gibson

Why thousands of people flocked to Ballina on the weekend

YESTERDAY, Ballina's food and wine festival celebrated 10 strong years supporting local producers and giving back to charity.

Up to 3000 people, not only from Ballina but Adelaide, Brisbane, Sawtell, and Coffs Harbour, walked through the gates of Ballina Jockey Club on Sunday to experience the premium food and wine offered by the region.

This year, event organisers Rotary Club Ballina-on-Richmond aimed to raise $15,000 for the Awareness of Domestic Violence programs to be run in high schools throughout local areas.

Festival chair Col Lee said the event hosted 66 stalls and supports local restaurants and producers in connecting with consumers and building sustainable business.

"We're pumping in a lot of people in from out of the area which is really good and it's not their first time either,” Mr Lee said.

Next to the main food and wine marquee, which stocked seafood, spirits, gourmet desserts and wine from all over Australia, guests could sit down at the cooking stage and watch demonstrations by local chefs from A Chef's Pocket, Elements of Byron, The Balcony and Mumbai Masala.

Ballina's local restaurant Wharf Bar entertained guests with an ice sculpture drinking fountain, serving Aperol spritz and pita bread pockets stuffed with local marinated prawns.

Guests were given wine glasses on bright purple lanyards on entry for convenient tasting while wandering the grounds and to minimise waste.

Guest Jolyon Burnett said he came every year and always had fun.

"This region has so many fabulous food producers and it's great to see them and all the distillers and wines, what's not to like.”