Showcasing our chardonnay to the world

Chardonnay wine grapes. File picture
Gisborne Winegrowers chairwoman Annie Millton (pictured here with Bobby Clark, who works for the Gisborne Winegrowers organisation) says Gisborne’s chardonnays stand alongside some of the best in the world. File picture by Liam Clayton

Some of the world’s top wine writers and influencers are heading to Gisborne for the second Chardonnay & Sparkling Symposium from January 31 to February 2.

The region has long been celebrated as the home of New Zealand chardonnay and sparkling wine, so the 75-plus media, sommeliers and buyers from across the globe can look forward to sampling the best this country offers.

Gisborne Winegrowers chairwoman Annie Millton says Gisborne’s chardonnays stand alongside some of the best in the world.

“It is important we continue to let people know we are capable of growing this very top quality fruit,” she says.

The terroir (environmental conditions in which grapes are grown) makes the silt and clay balanced soils unique, with a high moisture holding capacity, meaning Gisborne vineyards are dry-farmed.

“We don’t irrigate our vineyards here and sustainability is so much more in the spotlight now.”

The local terroir also contributes to the weight, texture and intensity of Gisborne wines.

It is the second time the region has won the right to host the New Zealand Wine event.

“I think part of that was the uniqueness of our region — where our culture is very much part of our day-to-day life,” said Mrs Millton.

The attendees will arrive on a charter plane via Blenheim, Wairarapa and Hawke’s Bay, and will taste the wines from those regions as they fly over.

A powhiri will be held at Manutuke’s Whakato Marae, not far from where the region’s first grapevines were planted in the 1840s.

A masterclass on the Friday will showcase chardonnay from 20 New Zealand wineries.

On Saturday February 2, Gisborne wine producers will host a regional event to showcase their wines.

The farewell dinner that evening — featuring the best of local cuisine — will be held at the Opou homestead where Historic Places Tairawhiti chairman James Blackburne will present a history of the region.

“It is a great opportunity for the region,” says Annie.

Those attending the symposium are coming from Ireland, Dubai, the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Russia, the United States, Singapore, Japan, China, Japan and Canada.

Some of the world’s top wine writers and influencers are heading to Gisborne for the second Chardonnay & Sparkling Symposium from January 31 to February 2.

The region has long been celebrated as the home of New Zealand chardonnay and sparkling wine, so the 75-plus media, sommeliers and buyers from across the globe can look forward to sampling the best this country offers.

Gisborne Winegrowers chairwoman Annie Millton says Gisborne’s chardonnays stand alongside some of the best in the world.

“It is important we continue to let people know we are capable of growing this very top quality fruit,” she says.

The terroir (environmental conditions in which grapes are grown) makes the silt and clay balanced soils unique, with a high moisture holding capacity, meaning Gisborne vineyards are dry-farmed.

“We don’t irrigate our vineyards here and sustainability is so much more in the spotlight now.”

The local terroir also contributes to the weight, texture and intensity of Gisborne wines.

It is the second time the region has won the right to host the New Zealand Wine event.

“I think part of that was the uniqueness of our region — where our culture is very much part of our day-to-day life,” said Mrs Millton.

The attendees will arrive on a charter plane via Blenheim, Wairarapa and Hawke’s Bay, and will taste the wines from those regions as they fly over.

A powhiri will be held at Manutuke’s Whakato Marae, not far from where the region’s first grapevines were planted in the 1840s.

A masterclass on the Friday will showcase chardonnay from 20 New Zealand wineries.

On Saturday February 2, Gisborne wine producers will host a regional event to showcase their wines.

The farewell dinner that evening — featuring the best of local cuisine — will be held at the Opou homestead where Historic Places Tairawhiti chairman James Blackburne will present a history of the region.

“It is a great opportunity for the region,” says Annie.

Those attending the symposium are coming from Ireland, Dubai, the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Russia, the United States, Singapore, Japan, China, Japan and Canada.

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