Joelle Thomson's online wine guide

Category: Events diary… (page 1 of 6)

Wellington and Auckland home to big wine gig…

It’s being dubbed New Zealand’s largest wine tasting event and this year’s Winetopia debuts in Wellington following its regular Auckland outing in mid July this year.

The Auckland leg of the event runs at Shed 10 from 9 to 10 June before debuting in Wellington at Shed 6 from 14 to 15 July.

The 2017 programme features expert talks and tasting masterclasses presented by some of the country’s leading wine people, including Master of Wine Bob Campbell and Australian wine writer, Nick Stock.

“New Zealand boasts over 670 wineries, far too many for an average Kiwi to check out in one lifetime. We’ve created Winetopia to take attendees far beyond the well-known, behind the closed door of the vineyards and cellar doors of our beautiful country and into the minds of the people that make our world-famous drop,” says director Rob Eliott.

Singapore Airlines, the presenting sponsors will help visitors explore one of their lead destinations, France, with French vs NZ wine tastings and the chance for all event attendees to enter to win a return flight for two to Paris with Singapore Airlines.

Winetopia will be held in Auckland on 9 to 10 June and in Wellington for the first time on 14 to 15 July. There will be three sessions in each city; Friday from 5pm to 8:30pm, Saturday from 12pm to 3:30pm and 4:30pm to 8pm.
Tickets on sale at 


Wellington the craft taste capital

Wellington is the craft beer capital with a micro brewery on every second corner and, if you live in Aro Valley, upper Willis or the Cuba Street precinct, every single corner. So, why is it so darned difficult to get a decent wine in many of the city’s bars these days?

It’s a question I ponder every time I set foot outside the front door but rather than die wondering, a couple of us decided to host a tasting that highlights the craft wines of our country’s most creative drinks makers. It’s on this week and we still have a couple of spots because we have moved it downstairs to the warehouse for an informal, relaxed and informative night devoted to:

New Wave Kiwi Wines… Albarino, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Blanc, Libiamo, Syrah and more…
So, join us this Thursday 23 March at Regional Wines from 6pm to 8pm – book by phone 04 385 6952 or online:

It’s the start of vintage for many winemakers around New Zealand so, for those readers who, like me, are mostly desk-bound, check out the new tastings programme at Regional Wines & Spirits –

I am the new (part time) Wine Programme Director there, which means I’m hosting tastings and wine education.

It’s a buzz and it’s fantastic to be a part of, as is writing about vino in all the usual spots, which include Capital magazine, Good magazine, Drinksbiz and NZ Winegrower.

Capital’s biggest ever wine event kicks off

Tonight’s the night.

Over 600 wine drinkers, thinkers, makers, marketers, writers and retailers descended on Wellington’s waterfront for the first evening of the biggest wine event ever in this city – Pinot Noir NZ 2017.

It is the sixth Pinot Noir conference to be held in the capital. It has attracted record numbers but is also the longest break between drinks for Pinot Noir devotees. All previous five Pinot Noir conferences in the capital were held every three years, but this one had a four year hiatus. This was due to the country’s first ever Sauvignon Blanc celebration in Marlborough last year. Organisers of both events felt that they did not wish to host competing international wine conferences, so agreed to a four yearly Pinot Noir event, going forward.

Actor and winery owner Sam Neill is among the 600 plus conference goers, as is the world’s most highly respected wine writer, Jancis Robinson; a Master of Wine and editor of The Oxford Companion to Wine, the latest edition of which was published in late 2016 and co-edited by Julia Harding, also a Master of Wine.

Winemaker Ben Glover is the chairperson of Pinot Noir 2017 and will open the conference on Tuesday 31 January at 8.30am. There will be 115 New Zealand Pinot Noir producers attending while other tastings will highlight benchmark styles of Pinot Noir from other countries.

Watch this space.

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