New Zealand’s oldest wine region crowned 12th Great Wine Capital of the world

Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand’s oldest wine region, has joined 11 other global wine heavyweights as the newest Great Wine Capital of the world.

The region was named a Great Wine Capital  after a stringent selection process that looks at a number of factors including a region’s winegrowing industry, its history, its wine tourism experiences, educational opportunities, business and travel, as well as the cities and the region itself.

Founded in 1999, the Great Wine Capitals is a network of global cities that aims to encourage travel, education and business exchanges between them. The other Great Wine Capitals are Adelaide, South Australia; Bilbao, Rioja, Spain; Bordeaux, France, Cape Town, Cape Winelands, South Africa; Lausanne, Switzerland; Mainz, Rheinhessen, Germany; Mendoza, Argentina; Porto, Portugal; San Francisco, Napa Valley, USA; Valparaìso, Casablanca Valley, Chile; and Verona, Italy.

In announcing the news, Hawke’s Bay Tourism CEO Hamish Saxton said the significance of being named a Great Wine Capital is a remarkable milestone for the region.

“Hawke’s Bay’s inclusion as one of just 12 Great Wine Capitals of the world is of regional and national significance. 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.

“This new achievement gives Hawke’s Bay a unique positioning in New Zealand and the world. 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,” says Hamish.

The bid was led by Hawke’s Bay Tourism, on behalf of a working group that also included Hawke’s Bay Wine Growers, Hastings District Council, Napier City Council, Hawke’s Bay Airport and EIT/Te Pūkenga, and was supported by New Zealand Winegrowers.

“Hawke’s Bay being granted the status of a Great Wine Capital is a major achievement and is a testament to the region’s commitment to providing visitors with an unforgettable wine tourism experience that captures the essence of their land, people, and way of life,” says Charlotte Read, General Manager Marketing, New Zealand Winegrowers.

Vines were first planted in Hawke’s Bay in 1851 by Marist missionaries and is best known for their red blends and Chardonnay, as well as aromatic whites and impressive Syrah. With more than 200 vineyards, 125 wine producers and more than 30 cellar doors, the region offers a plethora of ways to experience the highly accoladed wines of the region, from well-developed cycle trails to architecture and wine tours in classic cars.


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