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Syrah lovers urged to get in quick for international symposium

Lovers of the luscious red wine variety Syrah are being urged to get in quick for a one-day international symposium being held in Hawke’s Bay in January.

The symposium is being organised and hosted by Hawke’s Bay Winegrowers as part of an extended programme for those attending Pinot Noir 2007 in Wellington.

Guest speakers include the world’s leading international Syrah commentator Remington Norman (UK) and top winemakers Michael Havens from the USA and Tom Carson from Australia.

The symposium will be held on Saturday 27 January and will provide delegates with a chance to taste some of New Zealand’s finest Syrahs alongside top international examples and enjoy discussion and debate on all things Syrah. Already, international media and trade are registering their interest and attendance at this new event.

Hawke’s Bay Winegrowers Chairman Rod McDonald says the symposium organisers are rapt to be playing host to such stars of the international wine world.

“It’s an honour to have such leading wine authorities at our event and should make for a fascinating day.”

As well as tasting Syrahs from around the world, commentary, discussion, and a vineyard tour, the Syrah Symposium will also include a gourmet picnic lunch and a festival dinner on Friday 26th January hosted by local wine producers at Te Awa Winery. The symposium will take place at Trinity Hill Winery the next day and that evening delegates will be hosted by the Gimblett Gravels Association.

Rod says Syrah continues to grow rapidly in popularity – both in terms of new grape plantings and consumer preferences – and whether people work in the industry, sell the wines, or are just lovers of good wine, there will be something to interest them at the symposium.

Remington Norman founded La Réserve, a group of London wine shops that became internationally famous as specialist dealers in old and rare wines. He is the author of a number of award-winning books including The Great Domaines of Burgundy and Rhône Renaissance and in 1995 was elected to the Académie International du Vin, an honour accorded to very few people not directly involved in winemaking.

Michael Havens is the driving force behind Havens Wine Cellars, a Napa Valley winery recently voted one of the top 10 Syrah producers in the USA. The winery is a pioneer in micro-oxygenation – a technique which uses controlled, long-term exposure to oxygen to enhance the structure of tannins.

Tom Carson has been winemaker at one of Australia’s oldest wineries – Yering Station in the Yarra Valley – since 1996. He shot to fame in 2004 when he won three trophies at the International Wine and Spirit Competition in London for Pinot Noir of the Year, Australian Winery of the Year and Winemaker of the Year.

For more information on the symposium or to register, contact Lyn Bevin, Executive Officer, Hawke’s Bay Winemakers Ltd, on 64 6 876 7159 or

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