Wednesday, 20 January 2016 11:57

A regional book

Written by  Mary Shanahan
Mark Sweet. Mark Sweet.

A new book, launched in style with a Hawke's Bay Winegrowers' function held at the Mission, salutes the vineyards, wineries and people that make up the 166-year history of the region's people, vineyards and wineries.

Written by Napier-born Mark Sweet, Wine Stories from Hawke's Bay has very much been a local enterprise. The project originated with and was championed by the publisher of the Hawke's Bay magazine Bay Buzz, Tom Belford, and was seed-funded by Tim Nowell-Usticke and Wine Works.

The book includes a "Winemaker's View" in a chapter by Peter Cowley of Te Mata Estate and the contemporary images are by local photographer Tim Whittaker.

One of 12 speakers at the luncheon, Alwyn Corban of Ngatarawa Wines took the opportunity to lament the lack of comment on Hawke's Bay's long winemaking history in a recent New Zealand Winegrowers publication, New Zealand Wine: Certification Programme, which includes a translation in Mandarin for the Chinese market.

"With the history of New Zealand, there is not one mention of Hawke's Bay," Corban said. "The industry is not recognising its history. Hawke's Bay is a great wine region, and we were all hoping for a little line in the Winegrowers' publication on Hawke's Bay to show the history of New Zealand winegrowing."

Wine Stories from Hawke's Bay divides the region's winemaking history into four periods - "The Beginning" (1836-1920), which includes the planting of Hawke's Bay's first vineyard at Pakowhai, south of Napier, by French missionaries in 1851, "The Dark Ages" (1920- 1975), "The Renaissance" (1975- 1995) and "The Flourishing" (1995 up until the present time).

Lavishly illustrated, the hard-cover book includes many archival photographs and records the 71 wineries which currently operate in Hawke's Bay.

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