Joelle Thomson

Wine writer and award winning wine author

What I am drinking, reading and savouring each week


Winetopia on in Wellington, 9 to 10 October

Social distancing may have made vintage 2020 one of the most memorable on record but it is also showing itself as one of the best vintages of the past four years, something that 55 wineries will show in the glass this coming weekend at Winetopia in Wellington on 9 and 10 October and then again in Auckland on 30 and 31 October.
The event was originally scheduled to take place in July but was postponed due to Covid-19 and organisers have been on tenterhooks, wondering if it would proceed, due to lockdown restrictions.
“While it has been a complicated year for events, our winery partners across the country have shown huge enthusiasm for sharing their latest wines at Winetopia and we can see that the public’s appetite is strong too. This eagerness has really pushed us forward as organisers and we’ve used the extra time to develop new components of the event like the new Wine Blind feature, Golden Coins and pop-up restaurants in each city,” says event director Rob Eliott.
In terms of vintage 2020, Stephan Walliser of Fromm in Marlborough says “We thought that 2019 was a great year but 2020 is even better. Plus with no visitors to the winery we concentrated on nothing but wine making and I believe the wines will be fantastic.”
Visitors to Winetopia this year will be able to purchase samples of some of the wines in the country with the new specially created Golden Coins.
There are over 30 talks and tutored tastings, which include “Why you should drink Pinot Noir… from Marlborough” by yours truly and other events, such as Comeback Kid – Why Chardonnay, the hot 90’s grape is making a comeback.

  • Tickets to Winetopia 2020 start at $45 and include $10 worth of tasting tokens, a Spiegelau glass, talks, entertainment and live music.
  • Buy tickets here

Wineries taking part in this year’s Winetopia are… Abel Methode Cider, Akarua, Astrolabe, Ataahua, Bald Hills, Big Sky Wines, Black Estate, Carrick, Church Rd Wines, Clearview Estate, Clos Marguerite, Craggy Range, Dancing Petrel, Dancing Petrel, Decibel Wines, Deep Down Wines, Elephant Hill, Escarpment, Flaxmore Vineyards, Forrest Estate, Framingham, Fromm, Gibbston Valley Estate, Greystone Wines, Greywacke, Jackson Estate, JK14, Judge Rock, Junction Wines, Karikari Estate, Lone Goat, Longview Estate, Man o War, Matavino, Moana Park Winery, Mount Michael, Mt Rosa, Nautilus, No 1 Family Estate, Ohau, , Osawa Wines, Palliser, Pask, Pegasus Bay, Pisa Range Estate, Porphets Rock, Porters Pinot, Quartz Reef, Rannach Vineyards, Rapaura Springs, Rock Ferry, Rockburn Wines, Smith & Sheth, Spade Oak, Staete Landt, Summerhouse, Takatu Vineyard, Te Mata Estate, The Elder Pinot, The Landing, The Winemakers Wife, Tony Bish Wines, Tupari Wines, TW Wines, Two Rivers, Unison, Villa Maria, Waitiri Creek, Westbrook Winery, Yealands.

Bob Campbell MW, Stephen Wong MW, Joelle Thomson, Amber Smith, Caitlin Perlman, Antonia Prebble, Emma Wollum, Mary-Therese Blair, Ben Hurley, Laughton Kora, Suzy Cato, Hayley Sproull, Virginie Le Brun, Angie Atkinson, Jeremy Ellis, Candice Chow, Fergus Aitken.