Saturday, 16 January 2016 08:57

Celebrating Chardonnay & sparkling

Written by  Justine Tyerman       
The  mysteries of New Zealand Chardonnay and Sparkling wine will unfold in beautiful Gisborne early next year. Photo: Kirkpatrick Estate Wines, supplied by NZW. The mysteries of New Zealand Chardonnay and Sparkling wine will unfold in beautiful Gisborne early next year. Photo: Kirkpatrick Estate Wines, supplied by NZW.

Following hard on the heels of the International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration, Gisborne will host the country's first Chardonnay and Sparkling Wine Symposium.

Dedicated to comprehensive wine tastings, the symposium on February 4 and 5 will focus on exploring the rich quality, diversity and future developments of the two styles of wine.

It will begin with a traditional Maori powhiri as guests arrive on Thursday afternoon by charter plane from Blenheim.

Dinner that evening is at the historic Matawhero Vineyards where guests will sample a wide range of New Zealand Chardonnay and sparkling wine.

The keynote speaker is eminent historian, writer, environmentalist and academic Dame Anne Salmond, the recipient of numerous literary awards, scholarships and prizes.

Friday morning will be devoted to tastings and discussion of Sparkling wine followed by lunch on the banks of the Turanganui River with local cuisine and beverages.

In the afternoon the focus will be Chardonnay.

Winemakers Clive Jones (Nautilus Estate) and Michael Brajkovich MW (Kumeu River Wines) and a panel of experts will present four flights of six wines at each session, and discuss these varieties across various themes and styles.

The venue for dinner on Friday evening is a marquee at Midway Beach. Guests will be served canapés on the beach during which time New Zealand acclaimed Gisborne-born soloist Mere Boynton will arrive by waka to entertain guests in the marquee.

Top local chefs will prepare seafood dishes including crayfish on the barbecue, matched with New Zealand's finest wines.

After dark, guests are invited to return to the beach for a fire poi performance and music around a camp fire.


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