Ready to clink at Middle Earth
This year’s Nelson Wine and Food Festival will be shady, but in a good way.
Organiser Pete Glue said they were installing a 12 by 12 metre shade sail to respond to the public asking for more shade at the event.
They had proposed to move the event to under the trees at Richmond Park showgrounds this year, but visitors voted it should stay at Middle-Earth Vineyards in Brightwater.
Glue said the Cancer Society would also be putting up half a dozen marquees that people could seek shade under.
Scheduled musical acts this year include The Dixie Prix, The Neal Brothers and the Nayland Primary kapa haka group.
‘‘They kick the event off with the live music,’’ he said. ‘‘We had them last year, the public really loved them.’’
Glue said they were expecting between 2500 and 3000 people to attend the event on Sunday, a similar crowd to last year.
Ten wineries and four breweries were showcasing their goods, including Seifried Estate Winery, Sprig and Fern and Hop Federation.
For those with appetite during the day, there will be about 25 gourmet food stalls.
‘‘Thank God the weather is looking really good, we were worried about Cyclone Gita but it looks like it won’t arrive in New Zealand until Wednesday.’’
He said in the 14 years the event had been running they had never had rain.
Glue said he expected about 70 motorhomes to stay on the vineyard during the weekend.
Self-contained motorhomes and caravans could stay overnight on Saturday and Sunday for $10 a vehicle.
Other transport options included buses from Nelson. Festival-goers were also encouraged to cycle to the event along Tasman’s Great Taste Trail.
There would be a classic car show again this year, as well as classic boats from Lake Rotoiti on display and some tractors from the Pigeon Valley Steam Museum.
Glue said the festival, which is run by the Richmond Rotary Club, had raised $28,000 last year and over the past 14 years returned about $370,000 back into the community.
Money raised at this year’s event would go to the Nelson Hospice, the Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter, St John’s, Nelson Volunteer Coastguards, Richmond and Brightwater Volunteer Fire Brigade, Women’s Refugee and Brightwater School.
The Nelson Wine and Food Festival, Middle-Earth Vineyards, Brightwater, February 18, 11am to 5pm. Early bird tickets $20, gate sales $25.