Dawn over Te Mata Peak, Hawke’s Bay.
Hawke’s Bay, including the twin cities of Napier and Hastings, has become the world’s 12th ‘great wine capital’, joining an elite group that already encompasses the prestigious vineyard regions of Mendoza, Napa Valley and Bordeaux, among others.
Founded in 1999 to help promote and sustain wine-related industries and tourism, the Great Wine Capitals Global Network has a stringent selection process.
A region’s wine growing industry, history, wine tourism experiences and educational opportunities are just some of the factors taken into consideration.
Hamish Saxton, CEO of Hawke’s Bay Tourism, which led the region’s bid on behalf of several other groups, said the area’s new status is a major milestone.
‘It is recognition that Hawke’s Bay wines are among the world’s best and that our nation’s wine growing industry, while still young, offers quality to rival the world’s oldest,’ he said.
‘It is a true legacy for the region and will continue to deliver benefits to industry, education, business and tourism for the years to come,’ he added.
Vineyards were first planted in Hawke’s Bay in 1851 by Marist missionaries.
Today, there are more than 200 vineyards, 125 wine producers and more than 30 cellar doors, which have helped to make the region highly regarded for a range of premium wine styles, including Chardonnay, aromatic whites, red blends and top Syrah.
Charlotte Read, general manager for marketing at industry body New Zealand Winegrowers, said recognition for Hawke’s Bay as a great wine capital was a proud moment for the region and also an exciting time for tourism in the country.
‘This achievement is not only a recognition of Hawke’s Bay’s successes, but a catalyst for further growth in wine tourism, putting Hawke’s Bay, and New Zealand, firmly on the world stage as a must-visit destination for wine lovers,’ Read said.
New Zealand Winegrowers supported the Hawke’s Bay bid, and it also said that the region’s plethora of wine styles are matched by the area’s varied landscapes, from mountain peaks to coastal cliffs, plains and valleys.
The other 11 cities / regions in the Great Wine Capitals Network are:
Adelaide, South Australia
Cape Town, Cape Winelands
San Francisco, Napa Valley
Valparaiso, Casablanca Valley
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