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Top wine merchant to speak at HB red wine event

Top international wine merchant to speak at HB red wine events

Jason Yapp, named by prestigious British wine magazine Decanter as ‘Specialist Merchant’ for 2009, has confirmed his attendance at the New Zealand Syrah Symposium being held in Hastings on January 30.

Mr Yapp is the Managing Director of Yapp Brothers Ltd, fine wine merchants specialising in wines from regional France with a particular emphasis on the Rhône valley. The Decanter award was made in recognition of his company’s diverse portfolio of growers’ wines and its re-designed website [].

Mr Yapp has a key buying role within Yapp Brothers and also works very closely with its trade clients who include all 10 of the Top 10 restaurants in the British 2009 Good Food Guide (e.g. Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Le Gavroche, the Fat Duck and Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons).

A replacement for John Livingstone-Learmonth who has reluctantly withdrawn as a presenter due to health reasons, Mr Yapp will speak on The Rhone, home of Old World Syrah, focusing on the influence of terroir on the wines of that region. He will also discuss marketing issues and the future of Syrah production in Northern Rhone particularly before leading a tasting of a range of outstanding examples of Rhone Syrah specially imported for this event.

Other key note speakers at the day-long Syrah Symposium being held at the Hawke’s Bay Opera House are Australians James Halliday, Dan Buckle and Markus Herderich, and Tim Atkin MW, from the UK. The event is now sold out, and organisers are adding names to a cancellation list.

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Only 15 spots remain for the New Zealand Cabernet Merlot Forum being held a day earlier on Friday 29 January. Key note speakers are Simon Tam from Hong Kong, Dr Kees van Leeuwen from Bordeaux, France, and Brian Croser from Australia.

Being hosted by Hawke’s Bay Winegrowers Inc., the two events provide participants with latest technical research, case studies, global perspectives and discussion panels, together with tastings of some of the finest New Zealand Syrah and Cabernet Merlot blends alongside top international examples.

Local speakers include Petra King and Rod Chittenden from EIT, and winemakers Peter Hurlstone, Pernod Ricard; Warren Gibson, Trinity Hill; and Rod Easthope, Craggy Range. Nicholas Buck from Te Mata Estate, and HBWG chair and Matariki Wines GM, Rod McDonald will conduct a panel discussion at the conclusion of each day.

Peter Cowley, Te Mata Estate winemaker who is helping to organise the two day wine experience, will lead a tasting to introduce delegates to Hawke’s Bay’s finest examples of Cabernet Merlot and Syrah, at a combined dinner being held on the Friday evening. “In addition to experiencing local fine wine, this evening will be chance for Hawke’s Bay winemakers to get feedback from respected experts on our wines,” he says.

More details on the speakers and programmes can be found on the respective event websites and


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