Toast Martinborough is the place to be on Sunday. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV

PAM GRAHAM
pam.graham@age.co.nz

Whether you’ve booked the $3995 Cottage Suite package for the weekend at Wharekauhau Country Estate or are staying in a campervan at Tauherenikau Racecourse, Martinborough is ready to welcome you to Toast Martinborough.

The event’s general manager Anna Nielson said the weather forecast was looking a lot better than it was a week ago and should be good for the event tomorrow.

“Ticket sales are getting close to what we want, the 8000 mark, but there will always be tickets available at the gate,” she said. “It’s an event that appeals to a wide range of age groups.”

There is plenty going on with other events timed to coincide with Toast Martinborough.

“Events are happening all over the region associated with wine, food and music. The Rodger Fox Band is playing, Luna are doing a concert and TK have their gin event,” she said.

That’s the Lighthouse Gin Garden Party at Te Kairanga Vineyard today.

It’s also the first National Open Cellar Door Day today and tonight, Fine Wines NZ are having a dinner in Martinborough.

Real estate agents are also not letting a chance go by.

Property Brokers have just released a lifestyle block subdivision on Lake Ferry Rd for sale ahead of the weekend that brings so many people from Wellington to the region.

The Strowan Hills lifestyle block subdivision is a seven-minute drive from Martinborough.

Nielson said the majority of people who went to Toast Martinborough were from Wellington but people from offshore also came.

Several years ago, it was estimated the event brings about $1.5 million to the region on the day.

The event app is encouraging people to put up pictures on Instagram which it can use.

There’s also a fashion finds in the vines via social media.

Augustine fashion designer Kelly Coe and hairdresser Kate Lockey will tap people on the shoulder if they like their personal style and they will get a voucher and have their photo on Instagram. It’s essentially a competition for someone with the best look.

Vineyards taking part this year are Ata Rangi, Dry River, Escarpment, Luna Estate, Margrain, Palliser Estate, Te Kairanga, Tirohana, and Vynfields.

There’s live music from more than 20 bands and the food offerings come from some big names, including Martin Bosley, Ruth Pretty and Adam Newell, the Michelin-star chef from Union Square Bistro is at Palliser. For those who just want a snack, Tirohana Estate is offering the ever-popular South Island cheese rolls.

Toast Martinborough has been on the wine-lovers calendar for more than 25 years, and is still as strong as ever, organisers say.