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Fifth Annual Gibbston Harvest Festival

Sample The Region’s Best At The Fifth Annual Gibbston Harvest Festival

To celebrate the 2010 harvest in one of Central Otago’s most renowned grape-growing areas, the fifth annual Gibbston Harvest Festival will be held on Saturday, 20 March.

Building on the success of previous festivals, the Gibbston Harvest Festival will showcase 14 local wineries and 10 leading restaurant and specialty food suppliers from Gibbston, Queenstown and Arrowtown.

“Over the last four years, the festival has really grown,” says Gibbston Valley Station managing director, and one of the festival organisers, Greg Hunt.

“This year, it promises to be even bigger and better, with a number of new wineries, leading restaurant and specialty food suppliers taking part, and a broader range of activities and attractions. If you want to experience a true taste of the best Central Otago has to offer, this is the place to be.”

The festival is modelled on European festivals and follows in the footsteps of harvest celebrations held at the region’s first winery, Gibbston Valley Wines, in the 1980s. “These days, the crowd is a lot larger, so the festival will be held at Gibbston Valley Station,” says Mr Hunt. “Last year, the event attracted over 2000 people – both locals and visitors to the region – and we anticipate an even bigger crowd this year.”

Gibbston Valley Station is a new lifestyle resort adjacent to Gibbston Valley Wines, which will offer a range of experiences, including an international golf course.

“It will be a fun, relaxed afternoon for the whole family,” says Mr Hunt. “There will be a lot happening, with entertainment by local musician Mike Morgan, and Q92 More FM’s Janey Newlands and Margo Berryman, as well as barrel rolling competitions, bouncy castles and a games area for the kids – not to mention the leading restaurant and specialty foods, and award-winning wines.”

“There will also be wine and food master classes from midday, with informative and humorous demonstrations by legendary sommeliers Paul Tudgay and Neil Taylor.”

All wineries involved in the festival harvest grapes from vineyards in the Gibbston region, with the wines on offer made from Gibbston fruit, says Mr Hunt. “Our local winemakers and restaurateurs will be staffing the stalls, so it’s a great opportunity for visitors to learn about local flavours firsthand from the experts. The event is really a celebration of the best of our region and our community. It’s what makes Gibbston such a great place to live.”

Each year, local charities and community groups are invited to become the Gibbston Harvest Festival nominated charity, with the proceeds of all ticket sales given to the benefitting charity or group. This year, the recipient will be the Arrowtown Scouts. “The Arrowtown Scouts do so much for our community,” says Mr Hunt. “So this is a great way for our community to give something back to them.”

The Gibbston Harvest Festival runs from 11am – 4pm, Saturday, 20 March. Tickets will be available at the gate on the day. Ticket pricing is $15 for adults (including tasting glass) and a gold coin donation for children. Entry to the master classes is by gold coin donation. Car parking is free.

Transport to the festival is also available through Snag Bus Tours – for bookings and enquiries, please phone 03 442 1900.

For more details, visit www.gibbstonharvestfestival.com

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