Winter recipe promises more FAWC delights

By Amy Shanks

The traditionally quiet winter period is set to be shaken up with the introduction of 29 fun, fresh Hawke's Bay Food and Wine Classic (FAWC) events.

Following the success of a unique, inaugural summer series, locals and out-of-towners can enjoy a host of new experiences, tailored to suit the colder months.

"It's bigger than we thought it was going to be," Hawke's Bay Tourism general manager Annie Dundas said.

"We have got some new establishments that have come on board who weren't there in summer.

"I think they realise FAWC is a lasting thing and we are looking to grow it."

From June 20 to 23 people can find a host of taste bud-tingling, tummy-warming events to break the boredom of winter and bring people to the region to see what's on offer during the off-peak season.

"Typically, Kiwis don't tend to leave home at that time of year but this is an opportunity for us to see if we can get visitors from outside the region to come back," she said.

Already sales are looking promising with six events completely sold out and seven more about 10 tickets left.

The encouraging response can be attributed to positive coverage of summer FAWC, with people realising its popularity and booking early to avoid missing out.

"There is a mix of locals and visitors, some events have a lot more from out of town, for instance a large group from Wellington are booked into the Red Fish Dinner."

While the sunshine may be absent from festivities there would be no shortage of red wine, excellent food and fireplaces lit to create a welcoming atmosphere.

"There's a shift from outdoors to indoors, red wine is a focus, fantastic music with the addition of Trinity Hill Barrell Room Blues and Milk and Honey's Holy Smoke - people have really thought about what they are adding to the event."

If there was enough interest in Winter FAWC it could be a permanent fixture on the Hawke's Bay calendar.

"We will definitely assess it. We have got to keep coming up with reasons to get people to travel here in the off season and if this works then by all means we will keep it going."

For more information or to book tickets to the remaining events, visit

- Hawkes Bay Today

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