World to give FAWC load of feedback

By Amy Shanks

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Worldwide media representatives are among those who will attend Hawke's Bay's inaugural Food and Wine Classic event, starting Friday.

Journalists from glossy magazines and high-profile newspapers will be wined and dined at a selection of over 55 individual events, with the aim of putting FAWC on the map.

"We have got a great crew of media through tourism New Zealand, who have been looking to find a food and wine event to promote, and this one fits the bill," Hawke's Bay Tourism general manager Annie Dundas said.

"They are sending someone from London's Huffington Post, which is huge, Canadian Living magazine, German publication The Rhein Main Presse, The Daily Meal (US), Madison magazine from Australia and New Zealand's Cuisine magazine. It's great for a first-time event to pull that kind of media."

The combined reach of those publications is nine million readers in six countries.

Ticket sales also indicate interest from New York, London and The Netherlands, with Auckland and Wellington proving popular domestic markets, accounting for 56 per cent of traffic to the FAWC website.

"First and foremost, we are a region that features stunning food, wine and views," Ms Dundas said. "We have got various events that focus on those things but this really brings everything together. It's a bit educational, too.

"We wanted to open it up to the locals and include the Auckland and Wellington set."

To signal the beginning of Hawke's Bay's FAWC Summer Series 2012, more than 20 flags are now waving at key entry points and locations around the region.

"There is a real sense of anticipation, we are all waiting for Friday, the weather looks like it's going to be good and we are delighted to see everyone buying tickets. If you want to get along to something, make sure to secure your spot, there are a lot of disappointed souls who have missed out."

With just days remaining until the launch, nine events have sold out, with many more close to reaching capacity.

"We are really excited to have so many events selling out, and with events on offer for every taste and budget expect to see even more sell out over the next few days as locals and visitors continue to finalise their plans.

"You don't have to go over the top. You can spend $200 and get along to five or six events on the schedule, I think people enjoy having that option to mix and match."

Trinity Hill marketing manager Catherine Rusby said they were proud to be part of the event.

"It's a great opportunity to showcase our wines and Hawke's Bay and we are thrilled to have three of our events sold out."

Ms Dundas said people should come prepared for a fabulous weekend of sun, fun, wine and food.

"Get your survival kit ready, you might need some chilled water, Berocca and perhaps a pedometer to walk a few miles after some of the heavier meals."

For more information and to buy tickets, visit: www.fawc.co.nz

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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