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Waiheke Island Wine Festival February 2005

January 6, 2004

Waiheke Island Wine Festival a chance to taste the finest Bordeaux

Waiheke’s reputation for producing one of the best Bordeaux-like cabernets in the world will be put to the test at the island’s annual wine festival in February.

A limited number of 4500 people will be able to attend and taste the outstanding Waiheke cabernet at the annual festival on February 5.

A recent study by Dr Steven Poletti, Waiheke's weather is "more like Bordeaux than Bordeaux". The study found Waiheke Island has higher growing degree days than Bordeaux, Napa, Coonawara and Hawke’s Bay - the other regions which produce some of the world's greatest cabernet blends. Waiheke is now recognised in the industry as a producer of superb Bordeaux style cabernets. Festival goers in February will sample the latest on offer.

Wine expert Vic Williams says there seems to be something inherently romantic about making wine ``and when that wine is made on an island, the feeling is intensified’’.

``Kim and Jeanette Goldwater certainly started something when they planted their first grapes on Waiheke Island, in Auckland's Hauraki Gulf, in 1978. Now, Waiheke wines are regarded as some of the best in the country.

``It is the so-called Bordeaux blends, reds made from various combinations of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc and malbec, that have made the island's name synonymous with quality, but in recent times several top-notch examples have shown that chardonnay is equally happy with the local soil and climate.

``The annual Waiheke Festival gives winelovers the opportunity to check out the island's vinous charms for themselves. Local wineries team up with restaurants and food enthusiasts to provide an unforgettable experience, and a reminder of what a great country we live in,’’ he said.

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.

Food will be crafted by guest restaurant O'Connell St Bistro, vineyard chefs and caterers and top NZ bands will provide superb entertainment at each venue.

Festival goers will be able to relax to music from Goldenhorse, Don McGlashan, Greg Johnson, Ben King, SJD, the effervescent Mermaids and others.

The Waiheke event is recognised as the best boutique wine festival of its kind 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,’’ Ms France said.


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