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International guests to enjoy fun, sun and Hawke’s Bay wine

3 December 2012

International wine guests to enjoy fun, sun and Hawke’s Bay wine

Around 20 international wine connoisseurs will be enjoying Hawke’s Bay summer fun when they come for two days in January, with winery bike rides, a Weetbix, toast and Marmite breakfast, and speed-date format aged wine tastings as just three of the programme events.

The brainchild of Hawke’s Bay Winegrowers, the regional wine member organisation, the objective is to provide an entertaining yet information-laden showcase of what Hawke’s Bay has to offer.

“Our guests are on their way to a tri-annual Pinot Noir conference in Wellington It’s a pretty intense programme and so beforehand we wanted to show them a more relaxed good time. At the same time, our aim is for them to leave with an increased respect for Hawke’s Bay as a world class wine producing region,” says Lyn Bevin, HBWG executive officer.

The new event – Hawke’s Bay – our world in your glass – to run over January 24 and 25, replaces a formal conference focusing on Syrah and/or local blended wines previously held in Hawke’s Bay before the Pinot Noir conference.

“This new format allows for greater industry inclusion and hospitality,” says Ms Bevin. “It’s not intended to be comparative but will instead, welcome guests to our wine region, our wines and our people. It will give them a Hawke’s Bay sense of space.”

Guests include wine writers and master sommeliers from Canada, Germany, Sweden, Hong Kong, China, Ireland, UK and the USA. Wine industry locals will also attend.

Most of the region’s winemakers will be acting as hosts at one of the 12 events and a number of wineries are venues.

Guests will be taking a bike ride on the Hawke’s Bay Wineries Cycle Trail and along the way will select the wine they want to put forward in a People’s Choice competition.

On a more serious note, Nicholas Buck from Te Mata Estate will provide an insight into the wine region’s history and its future opportunities, over lunch at Mission Estate.

Winemakers Peter Cowley from Te Mata Estate and Grant Edmonds of Sileni Estate will debate Rod Easthope from Easthope Winegrowers and Tony Bish of Sacred Hill, in a Syrah or Bay Blends debate, with guests sampling four wines of each style in order to add their input.

There will be a self-pouring blind tasting of submitted Merlots from around the region, and a Chardonnay wine options event will see nine wines, four from Hawke’s Bay, come under scrutiny.

A tapas and tastes dinner will match local food sensations with wines from around the region, with a People’s Choice vote. On the second night, dinner will be a wineries session option, with the wines supplied by the attendees.

The quintessential Kiwi breakfast will see a winemaker collect up to four guests and host the breakfast wherever they choose, with other personnel from their winery invited.

At the Old and the New event, 12 winemakers will select an aged wine from their cellar and in the new speed-dating format, guests will move from one winemaker to the next, having a six minute ‘date’ to taste and chat about the wine.


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