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NZ’s best boutique wine festival on Waiheke Island

Limited numbers to enjoy NZ’s best boutique wine festival on Waiheke Island

A limited number of 4500 people will be able to attend the Waiheke Island Wine Festival on February 5 next year, organisers said today.

Three of Waiheke Island’s leading vineyards; Goldwater Estate, Peninsula Estate and Saratoga Estate plus picture postcard Church Bay will provide the venues for the 2005 festival.

Festival organiser Rose France said they were limiting the number of tickets to 4500 to maintain a quality event where everyone can enjoy the casual elegance and relaxed atmosphere.

``We feel the number fits snugly with the type of festival we are trying to create.’’

Waiheke’s event is arguably the best boutique wine festival in New Zealand.

``We have winegrowers producing world class wines in the most idyllic Island setting only 35 minutes from Auckland. We attract interest from all over New Zealand and overseas,’’ she said.

The third annual Waiheke festival will showcase a wide selection of the island’s finest wines and gourmet food. For the first time, the stunning Church Bay property will be open to the public. It is a superb waterfront location for festival visitors and also provides a perfect backdrop for corporate entertaining.

Nine vineyards will showcase their wines at Church Bay with each offering a unique festival experience. They include Cable Bay Vineyards, Christensen Estate, Fenton Estate, Kennedy Point Vineyard, Mudbrick, Obsidian Vineyard, Passage Rock, Peacock Ridge and Ridgeview Estate.

Goldwater Estate, Waiheke's oldest vineyard, will release its 20th vintage of its flagship Waiheke Island cabernet sauvignon and merlot 2002 for the festival.

The Waiheke wine chapter began in 1978 when the Goldwaters planted the island’s first vinifera vineyard. Today the island is home to more than 30 separate vineyards. The festival will host wines from around half of the island's producers.
Since its first release in 1982, Goldwater has been pivotal in placing Waiheke on the world wine map.

Master of Wine Bob Campbell said Goldwater's wines were ``a remarkable testimony to a district that is with some justification hailed as New Zealand's best area for Bordeaux style reds’’.

Christensen Estate have commissioned a two and a half metre bronze sculpture by renowned NZ artist Paul Dibble, to commemorate the first vintage of their Waiheke Island Merlot 2003. This first release will be showcased at the festival alongside Christensen Estate Feather White which is a small production Swiss style rose usually only available in top Auckland restaurants.

Destinations magazine writer Michael Hooper said last year’s festival was a ``totally enjoyable, friendly and superbly-run event’’.

Live bands include Goldenhorse and Don McGlashan.

Copyright 2004 Word of Mouth Media NZ

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