SELL-OUT SUCCESS for WINETOPIA
Billed as The Greatest Celebration of New Zealand Wine, WINETOPIA presented by Singapore Airlines (May 20/21 at Shed 10, Auckland) has delivered on all counts, with sold-out sessions and rave reviews from visitors.
Over the two days of the event, nearly 4,000 guests attended the three sessions, tasting, sampling and dancing their way through the 40 plus wineries and attractions on show, purchasing more than 22,000 tastes and a remarkable 7,000 dumplings.
Many visitors took the option of purchasing full bottles or cases to take away also.
Marketing Manager for organiser Lemongrass Productions, Claire Baudinet said that the show has more than stamped its mark on the New Zealand wine community, with bookings already pouring in for the 2017 event.
“It was exciting to feel the buzz and to see such a vibrant crowd of wine lovers filling the venue,” said Baudinet.
“From the moment the doors opened until session-end, the crowd was engaged, interested and full of fun.
“Some wineries were sending out for more stock after the first session, such was the demand,” she said.
In addition to wine tasting, the more educational aspect of the wine business was also popular, with Masterclasses with local expert Bob Campbell MW and visiting wine critic Nick Stock also total sell-outs for the entire event.
And for those seeking the lighter side of wine conversation, it was standing room only at the ‘Share a Glass’ sessions, where the likes of comedian Brendan Lovegrove and Singapore Airlines traveller Colin Mathura-Jeffree chatted with some great Kiwi celebs over a glass of award winning wine. The entertaining line-up included P Digsss, Russell Brown, Verity Johnson, Melodie Robinson, Chris Upton and Shane Cortese.
David Hoskins, founder of Heron’s Flight voiced his praise of the event, saying he is more than happy with his WINETOPIA experience.
“I think the whole event was so successful partly because Lemongrass emphasised the regional aspect, limited the number of wineries and including the ‘educational’ sessions. The combination of being able to taste wines from around New Zealand and learn about all kinds of wine related topics, made it an event like no other we have ever attended.”
“We had an entertaining time and will certainly want to do it again next year – we have lots of ideas about how to make it even more successful for us,” Hoskins said.
Rob Meredith of Peacock Sky shared that opinion, saying “the Lemongrass team should be proud of what they accomplished. We would like to sign up for Winetopia 2017,” he said.
And it was not just the wineries who loved the experience and got good business from it.
Colin Langman from boutique chocolate manufacturer Bennetts of Mangawhai said his team “had a great time and were really impressed.”
“It complimented our positioning perfectly! Our Post Event Review score was ‘exceeded business plan objective’, that’s the highest score available, so we are chuffed.
“We’re definitely interested in looking at being involved again next year, we took away a lot of learnings and plan to come back even stronger,” Langman said.
“New Zealanders love tasting and learning about wine and this event proved it,” says Baudinet.
“A lot went into the development of this event and we are now considering what the next step in the Winetopia journey will be”.
“This event will be back next year with more wines, more food and more music – watch this space,” she said.
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