Now clocking up over 20 years, the Hawke's Bay Charity Wine Auction, an iconic event that is the oldest in the country and has raised more than $2 million for Cranford Hospice, is having a makeover.
To be held at Queen's Birthday weekend on Saturday 2 June, this year's refreshed auction with its limit of 200 guests, will move from a formal dinner to a more interactive cocktail style afternoon-into-the-evening event. Bidders and guests will be able to sample the auction lots and enjoy tapas style food throughout.
The actual auction of lots will be divided into two sessions during the afternoon to allow everyone to taste, share, and watch the bidding led by MC and auctioneer, Chris Tremain MP.
Hawke's Bay Winegrowers Inc. executive officer, Lyn Bevin said "We are really excited about this new format. We have talked to a lot of people and refreshing the event this way is a popular move.
"Wineries are as supportive as ever with 29 lots confirmed, ranging from half a dozen bottles of something very special to two lots of 225 litre barrels.� Three very special winemaker and degustation dinners have also been donated."
Finer details of the lots on offer and the venue are yet to be revealed, and tickets go on sale at Easter.
This year Hawke's Bay Winegrowers has renamed the event as the Hawke's Bay Winegrowers Charity Wine Auction, to recognise the industry's contribution.
"The Hawke's Bay wine industry has strongly supported this fundraising initiative and when the naming rights' sponsorship of our previous sponsor, Midlands Mortgage Trust came to an end, we felt it was appropriate to reclaim it as ours," said Ms Bevin.
Last year, wineries donated over 1100 litres of wine and two degustation dinners to raise over $130,000 dollars for use by the region's only palliative care hospice.
Cranford Hospice's general manager, Helen Blaxland is encouraged that the new format of the event will take it to a new level, ensuring it remains iconic in Hawke's Bay. "The winemakers and bidders play a key role in helping the people we care for to 'live every moment'. Our relationship with Hawke's Bay Winegrowers is very important to us."
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