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A celebration like no other - 2019 A&P Bayleys Wine Awards

With Hawke’s Bay winemakers still basking in the glow of one of the best harvests in living memory, the 2019 Hawke’s Bay A&P Bayleys Wine Awards is set to be the most jubilant celebration yet.

General Manager for the Hawke’s Bay A&P Society, Sally Jackson, launched the awards today, and says she’s thrilled to be involved in such a vibrant event. “The Wine Awards exist both to honour the incredible talent we are able to enjoy in the winemaking sector here in Hawke’s Bay, and to showcase that talent to the world. Winemaking is key to the success of our region’s primary sector and it’s important to stop, take stock, reflect, and recognise excellence within this industry each year.”

The longest running regional competition in New Zealand, the Hawke’s Bay A&P Bayleys Wine Awards are managed and hosted by the Hawke’s Bay A & P Society, with support from a network of sponsors. “It’s a very special event for us,” Jackson says, “as well as for anyone who attends – a wonderful party, fabulous food, and the opportunity to enjoy wines that are not only our region’s best, but will go on, in many cases, to be awarded medals in wine shows across the world. We are always incredibly grateful to Bayleys, and to our family of sponsors, for helping us create a warm, collegial and celebratory atmosphere each year.”

This year, the evening will be MCed by comedian Urzila Carlson. “We’re delighted that Urzila has agreed to join us. Her humour is infectious, and we’re sure it will be a brilliant night with Urzila at the helm.”

Rod Easthope, Winemaker and Owner of Easthope Family Winegrowers, is now into his third year as the Chairman of Judges. He says he’s consistently impressed with the quality of the wines entered each year and expects 2019 to be no different. “There is a real sense of excitement and optimism among Hawke’s Bay winemakers right now – we’re riding the wave of one of our most incredible harvests in recent history and Hawke’s Bay wines are continuing to pick up accolades across the globe. I’m anticipating a high quality of entries and a fantastic celebration of what our region has to offer wine lovers.”

Easthope says the two days he and his fellows spend judging Hawke’s Bay’s finest wines are a highlight of his year. “I find it invigorating and fascinating. I enjoy the process – firstly, because it’s an honour to be part of a panel chosen to recognise our brightest and best and secondly, because the awards are a springboard into the local and international wine markets. The team at the Hawke’s Bay A&P Bayleys Wine Awards is adept at assembling a panel of judges who bring a raft of knowledge to the table – and an important part of that knowledge is what is happening in markets across the world and how our delicious Hawke’s Bay wines can access, and gain a real foothold in, those markets.”

Entries for the 2019 Hawke’s Bay A&P Bayleys Wine Awards open on 1 July 2019 with the Awards dinner to be held on Wednesday 16 October 2019 at Showgrounds Hawke’s Bay Tomoana.

For more information and to secure tickets (available from 1 July) see or contact the Events Manager, Isabelle Crawshaw, on 021 181 8686 or email

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