Wine lovers get technical help

By Roger Moroney

Hawke's Bay is one of five New Zealand wine regions to go on-line, and in your hand when it comes to finding a spot to visit, sip or dine at.

New Zealand Wineries has designed and introduced a range of smartphone applications which it says are designed to keep consumers "up to date" with news from the vineyard front, wine releases, special events and even an 'app' which allows users to make a booking at a particular winery restaurant.

Winemaker and founder of New Zealand Wineries Graeme Bott said the new apps were an effective way of bringing the wine industry and consumers closer together.

"We wanted to make the engagement between wineries and shoppers and tourists seamless," he said.

"Through our apps we can send instant notifications to our users informing them of wine updates in their specified region."

Hawke's Bay is hooked into the new system along with Waiheke Island, Martinborough, Marlborough and Central Otago.

Mr Bott said the increasing use of smartphones, particularly with younger people, meant the wine industry had to become more "tech savvy" to keep up with consumer trends.

He said the goal was to provide what he called a simple, interactive and fun platform to take wine and food knowledge to the next generation of food and wine lovers.

The response from consumers, and the wine industry, had been "great" Mr Bott said. "The latest development is a booking feature which allows users to book tables for a particular restaurant straight from their phones."

The site pinpoints wineries in the Bay region, and provides photographs and details about cellar doors, restaurants and the winery set-up.

The free NZ Wineries apps are available now on both iPhone and Android, and can be quickly downloaded from the iTunes and Google Play Stores. "Anyone can download the app and begin using it immediately," Mr Bott said.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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