Hawke’s Bay has made it into the Top 10 wine travel destinations in the world as determined by the US-based Wine Enthusiast magazine which has a monthly readership of more than 750,000.
The Bay came in at number three on the list and was the only New Zealand region to feature.
To cap it all off, the cover of the magazine featured a panoramic shot of Cape Kidnappers taken by local photographer Richard Brimer.
“It is simply fantastic and a huge accolade for Hawke’s Bay,” Hawke’s Bay Tourism general manager Annie Dundas said.
“To be among the very best regions in the world is outstanding.”
As well as listing a string of local wineries, including Craggy Range, Elephant Hill, Te Mata Estate, Mission and Clearview, the magazine praised the range and variety of restaurants and scenic spots, as well as spreads like the Cape Kidnappers golf course and events like the FAWC festival.
The region’s devotion to creating cycleways was also applauded.
Senior writer Lauren Mowery wrote: “This bucolic region excels at classic Bordeaux varieties, while syrah is angling to become the areas’s flagship wine. Beyond the bottle, however, the landscape, food and people are, as the country’s marketing slogan campaign says, 100 per cent pure New Zealand.” The feature ran over two pages – in advertising terms that would have cost an estimated $51,000 had the space been bought.
James Medina, Hawke’s Bay Winegrowers Association executive officer was equally delighted – upon hearing the news his simple response was “wow!”
New Zealand Winegrowers had identified bringing media and trade to New Zealand as a strategic priority for the overall marketing programme, he said.
“The purpose of these visits is for the guests to experience New Zealand, our wines, our people and our land,” Mr Medina said.
“On their return home, our goal is for them to act as ambassadors for New Zealand wines and to influence their peers.”
In the last year the Bay’s winegrowing and tourism industry had hosted 36 international guests and they made 138 winery visits in their regional tasting schedule.
“This is the positive spin-off.”
Ms Dundas agreed, saying hosting media was an integral part of what Hawke’s Bay Tourism set out to do.
“And it wouldn’t happen without the valued support of the wider tourism industry as well as entities such as Hawke’s Bay Winegrowers.”
Mr Medina said Hawke’s Bay, as well as having the landscape and top-class hospitality attractions, also had a close winegrowing community.
“They are all competitive but they all recognise the Hawke’s Bay brand is the important thing.”
He said that over the next five years, New Zealand Winegrowers was planning to co-ordinate the itineraries of more than 300 visitors to the country.
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