F.A.W.C! - Food and Wine Classic, Hawke's Bay

1-10 November, 2013

As summer draws nearer, food and wine enthusiasts are priming their taste buds for F.A.W.C! - a 10-day food and wine festival of mouth-watering events served up in a premium food and wine destination.

Launched only last year (2012), the Food and Wine Classic brings together a collection of food and wine experiences unique to Hawke's Bay, which is one of New Zealand's leading wine producing regions and also renowned for its fresh produce.

The F.A.W.C! Summer Series kicks off on Friday November 1st with a spectacular launch party at Craggy Range Winery and finishes on Sunday 10th with the Carnivore Carnival at the Hawke's Bay Races.

Over fifty events will run across ten days and will include Masterclasses, degustation dinners, private chefs in homes, vertical tastings and more.

Resident F.A.W.C! ambassador Ray McVinnie will be in town to host a tasty selection of events including a sit down Locavore lunch at the Hawke's Bay Farmers' Market.

A Winter F.A.W.C! festival will take place in June 2014 showcasing rich, full bodied Hawke's Bay reds accompanied by lashings of local lamb and venison prepared in a multitude of warming ways. Underground cellars will be put to good use as place to sample local food & wine offerings with music echoing off the walls.

Take your F.A.W.C! itineraries

The F.A.W.C! programme has been designed around authentic food and wine experiences, featuring wine and food personalities, and spectacular settings including vineyards and wineries, Art Deco architecture and al fresco delights.

Annie Dundas, Hawke's Bay Tourism General Manager, says F.A.W.C! is for people who "seriously love to eat, like to drink good wine and visit places that inspire and delight - and can often be seen with mucky chins and licking fingers after a meal".

Participants can choose one event, put together their own rich programme of grand or intimate experiences, or choose from a set itinerary of themed events. There are itineraries to suit serious foodies, seafood lovers, meat enthusiasts, or connoisseurs of wine, and another for hands-on opportunities.

Hawke's Bay food and wine

The Hawke's Bay region - on the North Island east coast - produces some of New Zealand's finest wines and premium produce, and has long claimed the title of 'the food bowl of New Zealand'.

Long before the wine industry moved in, the vast plains and hills were the source of prime Hawke's Bay lamb and sprawling orchards produced a wide variety of fruit for export and local markets.

The coastal region's dry sunny climate and gravel river plains provide perfect grape growing conditions and the region is recognised internationally for its award-winning merlot and cabernet sauvignon wines although some white varieties such as chardonnay also receive recognition.

The Hawke's Bay wine region covers several sub regions, each known for particular wine styles including Gimblett Road, the Triangle, Te Mata, Ngatarawa, Esk River and Maraekakaho.

With 42 of 70-plus vineyards offering cellar door experiences, there are many opportunities to enjoy Hawke's Bay wine in either heritage or ultra-modern surroundings. Many wineries have restaurants or alfresco dining, while vineyard cycle tours take advantage of a relatively flat landscape and pleasant climate.

Regional food highlights - a wide variety of fresh produce and artisan products - feature on the food trail. The easily navigated gate-to-gate trail takes visitors to meet producers and sample local flavours.

Hawke's Bay farmers' markets sell local food and produce. On Saturdays in Napier and Sundays in Hastings, shoppers can buy fresh produce and delicacies direct from growers and producers.

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