The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

WINETOPIA Tickets now on sale

rsz_winetopia_001It’s a wine tasting event like no other and the first limited batch of ‘Ridiculously Good Value Tickets’ are now on sale for WINETOPIA, which calls itself “the greatest celebration of New Zealand wine”.

With hundreds of New Zealand wines on show and thousands of wine fans making the pilgrimage, WINETOPIA aims to be the best and brightest wine event in the country, “where imaginations run wild, personalities come alive and all the senses will be satiated”.

WINETOPIA is created by Lemongrass Productions, the company that produces Restaurant Month in the Heart of the City, Street Eats and the Taste of Auckland Festival. Claire Baudinet, of Lemongrass Productions says that excitement is building with a number of New Zealand’s greatest wine brands planning special launches and first releases at the WINETOPIA presented by Singapore Airlines.

“All major regions will be represented at the festival, from the rock-star brands to the cheeky boutiques, along with food matching, sommelier-led tasting classes and live music at the end of the session to round off the experience. For the wine-buff or the wine-interested alike, this is an event not to be missed,” she says.

WINETOPIA has a unique tasting format – visitors literally taste their way through wine regions of the country in one afternoon or evening, discovering exciting new varietals, food matches and intriguing personalities in the process.

Just announced is special guest and Masterclass presenter Bob Campbell (MW), one of only 322 people in the world (and the first Kiwi) to hold the Master of Wine qualification. Campbell will be holding three Masterclass talks (tickets $20 additional to entry fee – available online):

* Friday evening session: Sip or cellar? A comparison of youthful vs aged wines to decide when to hold it, when to fold it and when to walk away.

* Saturday afternoon session: All about Albarinho. It’s hot, handsome and here. The stellar Spanish/Portuguese grape variety is New Zealand’s ‘next big thing’.

* Saturday evening: The Pinot showdown. A battle of the regions to decide which deserves to be crowned ‘King of Pinot Noir’!

And visiting Australian sommelier Nick Stock is one of Australia’s most respected wine critics. He was voted Best Drinks Journalist at the 2007 Le Cordon Bleu World Food Media Awards. Stock will be presenting throughout the event.

The ‘Ridiculously Good Value Tickets’ first tranche of tickets are on sale now at for $20 (plus booking fee) – includes five tastings plus a wine glass and free entry to many talks and tastings. The price will jump to $30 when the first release is exhausted. Organisers say that tickets are strictly limited and some sessions may sell out, so pre-booking is advised.