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Hawke’s Bay named as a Great Wine Capital

New Zealand’s Hawke’s Bay region has been inducted into the Great Wine Capitals Global Network, bringing the total number of members to 12.

Hawke’s Bay, situated on New Zealand’s North Island, is responsible for 90% of the country’s production of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. It is New Zealand’s second largest wine region, after Marlborough.

The region was particularly badly affected by Cyclone Gabrielle, which New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins described as “worst storm to hit the country this century”.

But admission to become a Great Wine Capital should offer a silver lining for Hawke’s Bay’s producers after the challenges of this year.

The network is a selection of cities and regions that are leading destinations for wine, and wine tourism, across the world. Among the places already included are Verona, Bordeaux, Cape Town, San Francisco and Mendoza. While not the first Antipodean entry on the list (that would be Adelaide), it is a first for New Zealand.

In response to this accolade, Hawke’s Bay Tourism chief executive Hamish Saxton said: “Hawke’s Bay’s inclusion as one of just 12 Great Wine Capitals of the world is of regional and national significance. This achievement gives Hawke’s Bay, Food and Wine Country, a unique positioning in New Zealand and the world. The climate, unique soils, the variety of grapes, the awards and the innovation of so many talented individuals, have come together to deliver an accolade the region wholeheartedly deserves. It is a true legacy for the region and will continue to deliver benefits to industry, education, business and tourism for the years to come.”

Great Wine Capital managing director Catherine Leparmentier added: “After many fruitful exchanges between Hawke’s Bay and Great Wine Capitals representatives over the last months, I am delighted that our partnership can succeed with integrating a New Zealand member in our network. The quality of the wines from this region, their international recognition, and the destination’s commitment to sustainable tourism perfectly align with our values and fully justify its membership.”

According to Hawke’s Bay Winegrowers, the official induction celebration will take place in the regional city of Hastings at oenogastronomic festival Food and Wine Classic on 23 June.

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