Joelle Thomson

Author, journalist, writer

Category: Events diary… (page 3 of 8)

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.

Pinot Noir 2017… biggest ever pinot gig

Pinot Noir. It’s bigger than Texas in New Zealand’s red wine industry because it accounts for 70% of all the reds made in this country. And next week, the biggest conference ever to be devoted to this wine in the Southern Hemisphere is to be held right here in the windy capital city, Wellington.

The event is called Pinot Noir NZ 2017 and runs from Tuesday 31 January to Thursday 3 February. Organising body New Zealand Winegrowers will host over 90 international wine experts from 20 countries at the event and two other events following immediately afterwards – the Aromatics Symposium in Nelson and Classic Reds in Hawke’s Bay, which finishes off in Martinborough with an extensive tasting of the region’s Pinot Noirs.

“New Zealand may produce less than 1 per cent of the world’s wine but we are attracting serious global attention. The events come at a time when New Zealand wine exports are riding high, exceeding a record $1.6 billion,” says Philip Gregan, CEO of New Zealand Winegrowers.

Over 285 million bottles of New Zealand wine were exported to over 90 countries in 2016 and wine is this country’s sixth biggest export item.

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