Festival pays homage to Damask Rose

By Simon Ruppert

Benalla has long been the Rose City - with some of the best in the state growing on our doorstep.

The Damask Rose, a Bulgarian variety, is one of the most fragrant and idyllic, and Allan and Vicki Wight have more than 2000 in bloom on their Samaria Property.

So they decided to host her own Rose Festival and open it up to the public on Saturday, October 26.

“We make rose oil and rosewater and other essential oils,” Ms Wight said.

“And we have 22 acres in bloom. So on the 26th, we’re opening the property up for the day.

“The event will be to celebrate the beginning of the blessing of the harvest.

“It is something they have over in Bulgaria in the valley of the roses and they have a big festival.

“It’s a fun day and we'll be open from 10am to 3pm.

“People can just come along and have a walk through the roses and see the the distillery.

“We’re the only Damask Rosewater distillery in Australia, so it is quite a unique thing to see.”

With the roses in full bloom Allan, Vicki and their team harvest the petals every day for one month.

“We pick the buds by hand at daybreak. And as part of the Rose Festival on the 26th people can see the distillery in operation how we make the essential oils and rose water,” Vicki said.

There will be coffee and light snacks available on the day, and the produce store will be open with a range of products available to buy.

Samaria Farm is just 25km from Benalla at 2520 Samaria Rd, Samaria.

● For more information, phone Vicki on 0417 990 764 or email [email protected]