Winelover's Passionate Weekend
The second largest grape growing area in this country is gearing up for a huge festival which launches over 50 vintages and new releases from 19 wineries in 12 different venues, this coming Labour Weekend. (23,24 October)
Dubbed the Winelovers Wine and Food Festival, the event has been strictly limited to only 2000 winelovers.
Gisborne City has been given a massive facelift and transformation. A Marquee Village is being erected in Gisborne's Harbour Basin, and wineries that do not often open their cellar doors to visitors, are offering tastings matched with local cuisine and live entertainment around their vats, barrels and vines.
A fleet of 17 buses will move the winelovers around two Winery Trails.
Even though it began its grape-growing in the 1850s, Gisborne sports only nine of New Zealand's 293 winemakers. But the number of new winemakers almost doubled this year.
The wine tastings include many award-winning wines, new releases and new labels from four brand new East Coast wine companies.
"Gisborne is the undisputed Chardonnay Capital" says Harvey Johanson, Chairman of First Light Tourism Eastland.- "We're also The Foodbowl of New Zealand - Festival-goers will have an impressive selection of quality Gisborne wines,fresh local produce and gourmet foods , and celebrate to the music of 17 live performing acts all day long."
A twilight Concert features the very popular Auckland retro band, The Peter Stuyvesant Hitlist.
Festivities continue with eight of Gisborne's best restaurant's offering winelovers two nights of matched wine and food menus with celebrity chefs and local winemakers.
"This is one big enjoyable party and there are still tickets available." Says Johanson.
"We're New Zealand's most remote wine region" says winemaker James Millton, "We're passionate about it- we are a different breed and our wines are different too".
Winelovers are buying in large groups up to 30 tickets at a time, says Johanson The $30 ticket covers a souvenir glass and programme, entry to WineLovers Marquee Village and all wineries on both Trails, all entertainment including The Peter Stuyvesant Hitlist.Concert