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Fizzing for harvest wine festival

Tickets are now on sale for the annual Wairarapa Wines Harvest Festival extravaganza – which is billed as “bringing together the region’s finest wineries, high-profile restaurants, and food producers for a day of indulgence set amidst the stunning backdrop of ancient native trees and a picturesque riverside setting”.

Held at ‘The Cliffs’ Riverside Reserve on Saturday, February 17, the festival celebrates the beginning of the 2024 grape harvest season.

The event will once again include a ‘meet the makers’ element that allows attendees the opportunity to meet winemakers.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for the 16 participating wineries to give visitors an insight into the wide variety and styles of wine available in the region,” general manager Carla Steed said.

Wineries at this years’ event include Alexia Wines, Big Sky Wines, Cambridge Road Vineyard, Colombo Martinborough, Coney Wines, Fairmont Estate, Gladstone Vineyard, Grava, Huntress, Johner Estate, Le Gra Winery, Matahiwi Estate, Nga Pari, Stad_ko Wines, Te Hera Estate, and URLAR Gladstone.

And alongside sampling wines, visitors will be able to savour delicious culinary creations from Wairarapa’s high-profile restaurants and food producers.

Eateries this year include Korky’s Catering, Kiwi Kai Catering, Colombo Martinborough, Caveman BBQ, Clareville Bakery, Brac N Bow, Balter Bar, Le Gra Winery, and Levitate Coffee.

“The festival showcases the very best the region has to offer. Our line-up of wineries includes some of the most boutique in the region, and paired with local food prepared by some of the Wairarapa’s top chefs, is a match up not to be missed,” Steed said.

There’s also a new offering this year.

“We are delighted to offer for the first time a ‘Masterclasses’ style event featuring eight of our more experimental and off the beaten track wines that you may not have tried before,” Steed said.

“Each winemaker will give you a look under the bonnet showcasing how our local wineries are pushing the boundaries of traditional winemaking.”

The event, titled ‘Wine Geek 101’, will “suit wine lovers with deep knowledge as well as wine appreciators who are just starting their journey into the wonderful world of wine”.

Revellers will also be able to enjoy a vibrant atmosphere created by live entertainment from iconic Kiwi musicians including Uncle Monkey, The BeatGirls, The Satisfactions, The Blueprint, and Steve Carlin Crooner.

Steed says the festival team are delighted to once again have on board key sponsor Provincial Insurance Brokers, which has committed to supporting the festival for at least the next three years.

Harvest Festival was this year selected as a finalist in the 25th Wellington Gold Awards, and Steed said the recognition is a testament to her team and the Wairarapa wine and food producers who are core to the event’s success.

“We’re proud to be able to deliver such an iconic Wairarapa event that has been built from the ground up, showcases the world-class Wairarapa wine and food, and is now a sell-out every year.”

Tickets are expected to sell out fast, so for more information or to purchase tickets please visit wairarapaharvestfestival.co.nz.

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