New Zealand’s newest wine and food festival – Ripe – welcomed a crowd of more than 2000 people at the inaugural event in Wānaka on Sunday.

Festival goers turned out to Wānaka’s Corbridge Estate to sample Central Otago wine, beer and food from 37 vendors, including Maude Wines, Quartz Reef and bEffect.

Otago Event Planning owner and Ripe founder, Nathan White, says he is delighted that the highly anticipated event went off without a hitch.

“The crowd was absolutely fantastic and it was great to see everyone having a good time,” he says.

“We were really impressed with the quality of the food and wine served through our vendors – they really helped to take this event up a level and cemented Ripe as one of the South Island’s best wine and food festivals.

“The entertainment line-up seemed to be the ideal combination of music, food and wine,” says White.

“We were blown away by the Jordan Luck Band and we’ve had really great feedback about Nadia’s cooking demonstration. The wine tasting presentation by NZ’s only Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas was also well received.”

White says the festival will be back next year on Otago Anniversary Weekend, 2022.

“Plans are already in place for next year’s event and we can’t wait to reveal the line-up,” White says.

“Ripe is about the passion and energy for the best wine and food of our region and our country, backed by a deep respect, appreciation and knowledge for the industry.

“We hope we can keep celebrating this for many years to come and we are grateful to all of our festival-goers, volunteers and vendors for supporting Ripe in its first year.”

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