By Jo Burzynska

The Press - Zest - - Wine -

One late sum­mer morn­ing in the Va­len­cian town of Pobla del Duc, lor­ry­loads of grapes were dumped on the streets. On the stroke of noon, lo­cals and tourists alike armed them­selves with bunches of the lo­cal va­ri­ety gar­nacha and the Bat­tle of the Grapes be­gan again.

This Span­ish grape-throw­ing fi­esta is one of the more way-out wine fes­ti­vals, which have been oc­cur­ring since the Greeks got to­gether to hon­our and cel­e­brate their wine god Diony­sius.

In New Zealand, wine fes­ti­vals are less ex­treme af­fairs. This sum­mer there will be sev­eral en­tic­ing op­tions.

Mak­ing its de­but this sum­mer is the New World Wine and Food Fes­ti­val, held this Satur­day in Ha­gley Park. It’s a cel­e­bra­tion of the South Is­land’s wines fol­low­ing the re­gion’s re­cent ac­cep­tance into the Great Wine Cap­i­tals Global Net­work. Grouped into wine vil­lages, winer­ies from Can­ter­bury, Waipara, Cen­tral Otago, Nel­son, and Marl­bor­ough, will be show­ing their wines, along with Ger­many’s Mainz Rhein­hessen, the fea­tured in­ter­na­tional re­gion.

The fes­ti­val of­fers a chance to meet the winer­ies and en­joy live mu­sic, gourmet food ven­dors and cook­ing dis­plays.

And if you fancy ex­pand­ing your vi­nous vis­tas fur­ther, there’s also a pro­gramme of en­ter­tain­ing and ac­ces­si­ble sem­i­nars.

These in­clude a whis­tle-stop tour of the Great Wine Cap­i­tals wine re­gions with Mas­ter of Wine Bob Camp­bell; a Riedel glass mas­ter class; wine colum­nist Garth Gal­loway will be en­tic­ing tasters to ex­pe­ri­ence wine be­yond sauvi­gnon blanc; Yvonne Lorkin is pair­ing wine with choco­late, and I will be cre­at­ing sweet har­monies be­tween wine and mu­sic.

Then, in Cen­tral Otago the fol­low­ing month, lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional pinot­philes will be gath­er­ing for the Cen­tral Otago Pinot Cel­e­bra­tion. At this fun and highly in­for­ma­tive event, held from Jan­uary 26 to 28, a panel of wine­mak­ers and in­ter­na­tional pinot noir spe­cial­ists will lead tast­ings and wine ex­pe­ri­ences.

These in­clude a show­case tast­ing of cur­rent and older pinot noir from the event’s 40 par­tic­i­pat­ing lo­cal winer­ies, a tu­tored tast­ing of top bur­gundies from the 2006 vin­tage, a culi­nary pro­gramme from Queen­stown’s finest restau­rants and lo­cal winer­ies, and an op­por­tu­nity to party with the re­gion’s wine­mak­ers.

On Fe­bru­ary 11, the ev­er­pop­u­lar Marl­bor­ough Wine Fes­ti­val will again show­case the re­gion’s wines, along­side lo­cal food pro­duc­ers, in the Bran­cott Es­tate vine­yards.

There will also be tu­to­ri­als for wine lovers in­ter­ested in more in­depth tast­ing ex­pe­ri­ences, in­clud­ing The ‘‘Evo­lu­tion of Sauvi­gnon Blanc’’, with ex­am­ples from older vin­tages.

At the end of the sea­son, Waipara is hold­ing its Wine & Food Fes­ti­val on March 3.

Moved from its orig­i­nal Glen­mark Church site af­ter the build­ing was dam­aged in the Septem­ber 2010 earthquake, then can­celled in 2011 due to the Fe­bru­ary quake, the re­gion is pleased to see it back in busi­ness 2012 at its new venue, the Mud House Win­ery.

Favourite fes­ti­vals: The Wine and Food Fes­ti­val is to make its de­but in Ha­gley Park this week­end.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.