Gisborne wineries make dedicated wine tourism website

WITH a 393-tonne rise in in the region's vintage, Gisborne’s wineries have been put on the international tourism map in time for a host of Labour Day attractions.

After the announcement of a dedicated website for wine tourism last week, the New Zealand Winegrowers annual report yesterday showed Gisborne vintages rose to 16,337 tonnes, up from 15,944 in 2016.

Eighteen wineries in this region cover 1371 hectares.

The export value of all New Zealand wine reached a record high. Now valued at $1.66 billion, up 6 percent in the June year, wine now stands as our fifth-largest export.

The region’s economic development and regional tourism organisation welcomed the rise in production and the inclusion of Gisborne’s wineries on the new website.

“We have recognised the importance of our wine sector in generating visitors who stay longer and spend more while they're here, which is why we’re working with our wineries to better package and present the wine experience available locally,” said Activate Tairawhiti chief executive Steve Breen.

“This year sees the launch of the Chardonnay Express, an experience unique to our region, and our wineries have moved earlier to have more compelling Labour Weekend cellar door experiences available online.

“We’ll follow this approach up with creating more profile online and supporting our wineries to provide more experiences over the season.

“Our wineries lead New Zealand in ‘dry farm’ viticulture (meaning little or no irrigation) which is becoming increasingly important. Being smaller than other regions, we offer our visitors a more personal experience, something we’d like to build on as a point of difference.”

At present the website showcases more than 450 “wine experiences”, including 16 Gisborne-based experiences.

“Wine tourism provides an exciting new opportunity for us to showcase our wines in the unique locations where they are grown and produced,” said New Zealand Winegrowers global marketing director Chris Yorke.

“Our visitors are also able to meet the people and hear the stories behind the brands.”

WITH a 393-tonne rise in in the region's vintage, Gisborne’s wineries have been put on the international tourism map in time for a host of Labour Day attractions.

After the announcement of a dedicated website for wine tourism last week, the New Zealand Winegrowers annual report yesterday showed Gisborne vintages rose to 16,337 tonnes, up from 15,944 in 2016.

Eighteen wineries in this region cover 1371 hectares.

The export value of all New Zealand wine reached a record high. Now valued at $1.66 billion, up 6 percent in the June year, wine now stands as our fifth-largest export.

The region’s economic development and regional tourism organisation welcomed the rise in production and the inclusion of Gisborne’s wineries on the new website.

“We have recognised the importance of our wine sector in generating visitors who stay longer and spend more while they're here, which is why we’re working with our wineries to better package and present the wine experience available locally,” said Activate Tairawhiti chief executive Steve Breen.

“This year sees the launch of the Chardonnay Express, an experience unique to our region, and our wineries have moved earlier to have more compelling Labour Weekend cellar door experiences available online.

“We’ll follow this approach up with creating more profile online and supporting our wineries to provide more experiences over the season.

“Our wineries lead New Zealand in ‘dry farm’ viticulture (meaning little or no irrigation) which is becoming increasingly important. Being smaller than other regions, we offer our visitors a more personal experience, something we’d like to build on as a point of difference.”

At present the website showcases more than 450 “wine experiences”, including 16 Gisborne-based experiences.

“Wine tourism provides an exciting new opportunity for us to showcase our wines in the unique locations where they are grown and produced,” said New Zealand Winegrowers global marketing director Chris Yorke.

“Our visitors are also able to meet the people and hear the stories behind the brands.”

This year marks a recovery in the region’s up-and-down performance. After a drop in annual production in 2016, this year’s rise happened with a record low number of grape growers.

Numbers have plummeted from 100 in 2008 to 36 today. Numbers of grape-growers have dropped steadily since 2008, with a loss of 20 growers in a single year between 2010 and 2011.

Regional tonnage surveyed has fallen 7574 tonnes since the 2008 peak of 23,911 tonnes.

Annual regional tonnage has improved since it hit a low of 14,450 tonnes in 2011.

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