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Wineries delighted to showcase Otago's wines to Royal couple

Central Otago wineries “delighted” to showcase the region’s wines to Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Central Otago wineries are gearing up for what could be the most important wine tasting of the century ahead of the Duke and Duchess’s visit to Queenstown this Sunday April 13.

A handful of local wineries and staff have been selected to present their Central Otago wines to the young Royals at a private wine and food event to be held at host winery Amisfield.

Central Otago Winegrowers Association president James Dicey is the lucky man who will escort the Duke through the tasting, while Central Otago Pinot Noir Chairwoman Lucie Lawrence will accompany the Duchess.

Mr Dicey said it was “an absolute privilege” to be able to inform and educate the Duke on the region’s wines.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity and once-in-a-lifetime chance to have one-on-one time with William and talk him through our region’s wines.”

“I’m excited and a little nervous about the event given the level of international interest surrounding their visit,” he said.

The event aims to showcase some of the region’s best and award-winning wineries to the Royal couple focusing on different varieties grown in Central Otago.

The couple will also get to see some of Amisfield’s vines up close as part of their tour of the world-renowned Bistro and winery facility, which aims to educate them on the region and why the wines are so unique.

With a natural focus on Pinot Noir, the variety Central Otago is most famed for, the Royals will also be introduced to Central Otago Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and sparkling wines.

Thirty wineries will be represented with wines available from each for William and Katherine to sample including well established and newer brands.

“It’ll be very much an informal event with us walking around chatting to the various winemakers, growers and owners representing each of their wineries.”

“The Royal couple have asked to meet people of a similar age and those at the forefront of winemaking and they seem to have a real interest in wine,” said Mr Dicey.

They will also sample the best of Otago’s local produce as each wine variety will be matched with food expertly crafted by the award-winning team at Amisfield.

“The special menu is being kept under wraps until the day but suffice to say the Royals will be treated to a wonderful local food and wine experience which we hope they will remember forever.”

The 120 media travelling with the couple will return to Amisfield later on Sunday for another special wine tasting and food event.

“To have so many international media in one room at the same time and to be able to showcase our region’s food and wines to them is just a phenomenal opportunity,” said COPNL chair Lucie Lawrence.

“The eyes of the world will be on Central Otago wine this weekend and we’re just over the moon to be a part of the royal visit.”

“The Central Otago Wine Region is a young wine growing area and to grow our appeal and inform the world about our wines is an opportunity money simply can’t buy. We certainly expect interest in the region to significantly increase following the royal visit.”

“I am honestly a little nervous about spending time with the Duchess and my friends have been teasing me about what I am going to wear on the day. It’s a really special day and a wonderful opportunity both personally and for the region’s wines,” said Mrs Lawrence.

Those wanting to catch a glimpse of the Royal Motorcade on Sunday can watch from the Lake Hayes Showground. Amisfield will be closed to the general public on the day.

ENDS

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