Preparations for a major addition to Hawke’s Bay’s event calendar took a significant step forward today (Monday, 30 October) when some of the region’s top wine and food producers gathered at the ‘site reveal’ of the inaugural Harvest Hawke’s Bay Festival, which is now just weeks away.
Harvest Hawke’s Bay is a one-day celebration of local food and wine, taking place in an idyllic rural setting beside the Tukituki River on Saturday, November 25.
As the region’s first food and wine festival since Cyclone Gabrielle, it is an opportunity for the 16 wineries and nine restaurant partners taking part to celebrate and showcase their craft.
The festival is a welcome chance for producers to spend time reconnecting with, and thanking, their loyal customers for the support they have offered during what has been a difficult year for many.
“The cyclone left us devastated by not defeated,” says Olivia Walding-Karaitiana, Business Manager at Linden Estate Winery in Esk Valley.
Linden Estate was left under 2m of water in the wake of the cyclone and has had to undergo a massive restoration which started with digging bottles of wine out of the silt.
“From day one we were determined to rebuild the Linden Estate business. Harvest Hawke’s Bay is an opportunity to share our wines, our story, and our future plans with the public, who have been so supportive and encouraging since the cyclone.”
With hundreds of festivalgoers visiting the region from other parts of the country, and a number from overseas, Harvest Hawke’s Bay will provide a valuable economic boost for the wider Hawke’s Bay tourism, accommodation and retail sectors, and well as to exhibitors.
Harvest Hawke’s Bay event manager Liz Pollock says Air New Zealand, Hawke’s Bay Tourism and both the Hastings District and Napier City Councils have thrown their support behind the event.
“Over forty-five percent of ticket sales to date are from outside the region with some people travelling from as far afield as the UK, the US and Australia. It’s fantastic that so many people are turning up to support the recovery effort and, more importantly, coming along to enjoy the spoils of our world class wine and food producing region,” Liz says.
More than 50 motorhome owners, again most from outside the region, have so far registered to stay at a temporary Motorhome Park, adjacent to the festival site.
“I’m thrilled we are on track to establish a truly regionwide festival that celebrates Hawke’s Bay’s food and wine heroes and is set to become an iconic event for both locals and visitors to look forward to in the years ahead,” says Liz.
“It’s great that our local producers are embracing the future with such enthusiasm and are excited to be part of this inaugural Harvest Hawke’s Bay event.”
Meanwhile, with only a few hundred of the strictly limited tickets still available, food and wine enthusiasts are encouraged to book to be part of this unique event as soon as possible.