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New wine festival to debut in NZ

A new 12-day wine festival in Central Otago, dubbed a “celebration” of the region’s wines, will make its debut this October.

Taking place from 24 October to 4 November, the “Down to Earth” festival will take place across the region and see over 30 wineries participate in a range of activities in what is hoped will become an annual event.

The idea of the festival is to encourage both locals and visitors to “roll their sleeves up” and get hands on experience at participating wineries as well as simply enjoy the produce.

Event manager Bruce McGechan told a local paper that: “This is a series of events that are out in the vineyards and in the wineries and the surrounding areas
“This is where people don’t just go to a cellar door and taste wine, you can actually get absolutely immersed in the wine culture in the vineyards and the wineries. You might be rubbing some of the buds or thinning some of the shoots, or you might just walk around the vineyards to see the general practices that they undertake and talk to the person who owns it and see why they created the vineyard in that way.”

The schedule includes learning about biodynamics at Felton Road, method traditionelle production at Quartz Reef and “working for your lunch” in the vineyards with the team at boutique winery Remarkable

In addition there will be a focus on the region’s Pinot Gris – arguably its leading white variety – its sub-regions and a wide variety of food pairing events organized by both wineries and local restaurants.

The full schedule can be seen on the website here – the list is not yet entirely complete.

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