Crowds clambering for winter classic

By Amy Shanks


Fires are stoked and warming beverages prepared, to cater for the crowds at Hawke's Bay's inaugural Winter Food and Wine Classic.

Following a successful summer series, this new event was created to bring locals and visitors out of hiding, during the colder months.

"We are delighted, Winter FAWC is going off, it's the first one so we are really excited, " Hawke's Bay Tourism general manager Annie Dundas said.

Punters were clearly crying out for an excuse to don their best and get out of the house, with 80 per cent of events full and many more with just a few tickets left.

From tomorrow until Sunday, FAWC guests will attend a host of taste bud-tingling experiences, designed with winter in mind.

"There is everything from whiskey to wine and beer - it's the full gambit, everyone has been very creative, as they were in summer."

Mrs Dundas said some events which had not yet reached capacity may have door sales, but it paid to book online to avoid disappointment.

Milk and Honey's Holy Smoke Sunday filled up quick, but they have since made 10 more tickets available online.

It was hard to tell what percentage of attendees were from out of town, but there were certainly groups visiting from main centres such as Wellington and Auckland.

"Early indications are that local people are buying tickets for their friends so it's difficult to tell, but there are events such as Red Fish ...which has drawn a large Wellington contingent."

Already organisers were thinking ahead, with plans for future events already brewing.

"We have lots of really interesting ideas for next year."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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