Cromwell wine event re­jected


A lack of in­dus­try sup­port has cost Cromwell the hope of host­ing a sum­mer wine and food fes­ti­val in 2018.

At its meet­ing on Tues­day, the Cromwell Com­mu­nity Board de­clined a re­quest to the Cromwell Pro­mo­tions Group for $36,500 to es­tab­lish a Cromwell-based sig­na­ture food and wine event to be held in Fe­bru­ary 2018.

The board had set aside fund­ing and in­vested in a fea­si­bil­ity study, and at its De­cem­ber meet­ing it re­quested the group con­duct a sur­vey with the wine and food in­dus­try to gauge sup­port.

Cen­tral Otago District Coun­cil mar­ket sup­port ad­viser Alison Ma­son said the re­sponse had in­di­cated there was sup­port but the pro­posal did not have sup­port in its cur­rent form.

Cen­tral Otago Wine­grow­ers As­so­ci­a­tion gen­eral man­ager Glenys Cough­lan said the sur­vey es­tab­lished there was ‘‘cer­tainly an in­ter­est’’ in cre­at­ing a new wine and food event that would at­tract vis­i­tors to the re­gion and drive fur­ther sales of Cen­tral Otago wines, but views were di­vided about whether Wai­tangi Week­end was the right time of year and over the suit­abil­ity of the Cromwell race­course as a venue as op­posed to a vine­yard.

Wine­grow­ers were more in­ter­ested in a re­gion-wide se­ries of events that linked up which would in­clude Cromwell, rather than a Cromwell-based event, she said.



Dis­tricts Pro­mo­tions Group chair­woman Ja­neen Wood said they were dis­ap­pointed to not get the whole­sale sup­port from the in­dus­try.

‘‘A num­ber of winer­ies had also re­sponded that they weren’t sure that the con­cept we pre­sented would sup­port the premium po­si­tion­ing that Cen­tral Otago wines hold in the mar­ket. We need to make sure the pro­mo­tional dol­lars we in­vest are supporting things that can be fi­nan­cially successful, sus­tain­able and de­liver long term value to the re­gion.

‘‘We re­main of the view that a premium wine and food fes­ti­val would be an as­set to the re­gion, but the con­cept needs to be some- thing that winer­ies, food pro­duc­ers and restau­rants will ac­tively sup­port. The event would also need to at­tract con­sid­er­able pa­tron­age from this re­gion and else­where.

‘‘I am just hop­ing it has dropped a seed and some­thing will be forth­com­ing in the fu­ture.’’

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