Getting a large group of the Gimblett Gravels wine growing region "family" together at one time can be thirsty work, so wine commentator and presenter Yvonne Lorkin was in the perfect spot yesterday.

She and her Thirsty Work series television crew were at Te Awa Winery off State Highway 50 near Hastings to meet with many of the names behind the fine Gimblett Gravels names and as she said, it was indeed the prefect spot for what she was after.

She was back in the Bay, her home province, for a week's filming on the fourth series of her show Thirsty Work which profiles the personalities and colourful landscapes of the New Zealand wine and beverage industry.

What makes the new series extra special is that it has been picked up by TV3 which will begin screening the eight episodes in July. It had previously been shown on the Food Channel as part of Sky's line-up.

Advertisement

"I'm very excited it has all come together," she said.

To give the TV3-based series the best possible start, she returned to the Bay, with episode one to be centred around the Gimblett Gravels, the unique region which now hosts about 800 hectares of vineyards. Getting the core of the Gravels' personalities together in one place for filming had been a lot of work and she praised the input of the Gimblett Gravels Association's Lucy Chambers.

Ms Lorkin said she was delighted to have got Chris Pask and Joe Babich along for the day, as Mr Pask had been the first to plant vines on what was seen as a stony wasteland in 1981. Babich managing director Joe Babich was among the first group of winemakers to follow Mr Pask's lead. Gimblett Gravels has gone on to become an internationally recognised name in quality wine production.

The entire first episode of the new series will be focused on the Gravels; its wines and its people. "And like in the other series, we'll get to meet the families, the kids, the pets. Everyone."

The unique Bridge Pa winemaking region will also feature when Ms Lorkin calls at Ash Ridge Wines. Having completed three seasons, and now embarking on the fourth, she said there was plenty to see and plenty of people to meet. "Oh yes, there are a lot more places and people to reach yet."