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Summer's here and it's time to wine down

About Helenganska

Shake off your picnic blankets for a series of twilight concerts in the Swan Valley.

Swan Valley winery Upper Reach has announced the lineup for its 14th Twilight Concert series, this one celebrating the 2017 vintage.

Upper Reach's Twilight Concerts sell out fast.

Upper Reach's Twilight Concerts sell out fast. Pic: Supplied

The four concerts, to be held in February and March, will feature bands expressly chosen to get guests up and dancing on the lawn overlooking the vines.

The first concert - on Saturday, February 4 - will feature Nueva Salsa with its Cuban salsa music, cha cha and samba.

On Saturday, February 18, popular concert regular Adam Hall returns to Upper Reach with the Soul Playboys - then again on Saturday, March 4, with the Velvet Playboys.

The final concert of the year will be on Saturday, March 18, with Straight Ahead Big Band, an 18-piece outfit playing big band classics.

Upper Reach owner Laura Pearse says these intimate concerts always sell out, so it is wise to book early.

“They are selling out earlier and earlier each year,” Laura says.

“People can bring a picnic and enjoy the sunset before we get them up and dancing, or they can book dinner and the show, with dinner at Broads Restaurant overlooking the band performing on stage below.”

The two-course dinner includes a shared tasting plate as an entrée and a choice of Chef Anthony Broad’s fabulous main courses.

Upper Reach’s range of award winning wines will be on sale by the bottle or the glass at the concerts.

Laura says she and winemaker husband Derek love the concert season.

“We’re both music fans and Upper Reach proudly support local, Perth musicians. Each year we search out the hottest up and coming band of the year, so that we have a mixture of new bands and old favourites, who are back by popular demand,” Laura says.

“It’s a fabulous way for us celebrate vintage and to give something back to our wonderful visitors throughout the year,” she says.

“And we love the long, lazy summer evening, watching sunset over the vines.”

Upper Reach is a ‘must visit’ cellar door. Both the cellar door and Broads Restaurant have an impressive contemporary rural Australian look, fantastic views over the vineyard and are fully air-conditioned.

At the cellar door you’ll meet the people who actually grow the grapes and make the wine, they’ll provide an insight into this summer’s vintage and harvest, sharing the highs and lows with you.

Upper Reach is the perfect place to relax over a platter, share small plates and enjoy a glass of wine.

General admission for the concerts is $39 per person, free admission for children under four and $18 for five to 17-year-olds.

A general admission season pass to all four concerts costs $130 per person.

The bands:

Nueva Salsa: Saturday, February 4

The hottest Cuban and New York salsa band this side of Latin America, Nueva Salsa is all about high-energy salsa, mambos, bombas and cha cha, guaranteed to get an audience moving to its infectious rhythms.

Upper Reach started its Twilight Concerts with Perth salsa band Sabroson. They split up in the noughties and since then Derek and Laura have been searching for a worthy successor. Nueva Salsa is the answer.

They are a nine-piece salsa band with infectious percussion rhythms, sparkling horns, awesome vocals and bass grooves that will transport the audience across the Andes to Latin America.

The Soul Playboys & Adam Hall: Saturday, February 18

The second concert is all about soul.

Adam Hall, leader of the Velvet Playboys, will take the audience for an evening of soul, velvet sounds and groovy times.

Think Stevie Wonder, Prince and Michael Jackson and then of the modern Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake and Beyonce. Superstition, No Diggity and many more classic hits will have the audience dancing on the grass.

Having headlined at major festivals around the world this is an opportunity for Perth to hear this unique band.

It’s a funky, late valentine celebration, especially with the imaginative set menu from Anthony Broad at Broads Restaurant.

Adam Hall & the Velvet Playboys: Saturday, March 4

Adam Hall & the Velvet Playboys are in demand internationally, but they started playing at Upper Reach 11 years ago and winery owners Laura and Derek Pearse love having them back, its always such a great night!

Fantastic entertainers, the band is an institution of the Perth music scene, renowned for its captivating live performances and raw energy.

The Velvet Playboys repertoire is rooted in the jazz and rhythm and blues music of the 40s and 50s from artists such as Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Louis Prima, Sammy Davis Junior, Harry Connick Junior, Jackie Wilson, Chuck Berry and The Blues Brothers.

It will be a feast for eyes and ears.

Straight Ahead – The Big Band: Saturday, March 18

The final concert in the twilight season is a big band with a big sound.

Eighteen of Perth’s finest musicians will be playing big band classics from the 1940s Swing Era through to modern swing, Latin, funk and blues.

Add in the swinging hits of vocalists Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble and Dean Martin and audiences can’t go wrong.

Concert tickets are available from: Upperreach.com.au

Upper Reach Winery is at 77 Memorial Avenue, Baskerville and is open every day from 11am to 5pm.

Broads Restaurant is open for lunch every day from Thursday to Monday and Sunday for breakfast.

The phone number for the cellar door is (08) 9296 0078 and for Broads Restaurant is (08) 9296 3883.

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