Auction tickets expected to sell out

By Alice Lock

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Auction organiser Annabel Tapley-Smith and MRD web developer Mike Reaney stand by their newly established ticketing system made for the event.
Auction organiser Annabel Tapley-Smith and MRD web developer Mike Reaney stand by their newly established ticketing system made for the event.

Forty specially blended wines produced by Hawke's Bay's finest winemakers will be on offer at the annual Hawke's Bay wine auction.

With three months to go, just 150 tickets remain for the event, held in support of Cranford Hospice.

Project organiser Annabel Tapley-Smith said the auction, running for the 25th time, keeps on growing.

"It is now a nationally recognised event, with 60 per cent of sales coming from outside the Hawke's Bay region," she said.

The scale of the auction had allowed the exposure of Hawke's Bay wines to vastly increase, with many travelling for the experience.

"Our aim is to have a collaborative event showcasing the region's talented wine growers," Annabel Tapley-Smith said.

The local winemakers had donated 40 specially blended wines that cannot be bought anywhere else.

Ms Tapley-Smith said it would be a wonderful occasion.

"It is not often you're up close and personal with the winemakers in one room together."

Artist Gavin Chilcott has donated a piece of work which is a part of his new series Painting for grown-ups - a meditation aid. He said he had no hesitation in accepting the offer.

The lotus flower design he has created can be made into wallpaper, tapestry, furniture and carpet.

Since the redevelopment of the wine auction brand and the implementation of the sponsorship partnership programme, all proceeds have been donated to Cranford Hospice. Last year's event made $141,000 and, since the opening, $2.6 million has been given to the hospice.

MRD web developers in Napier is one of the sponsors and last year donated a $25,000 package to build a website and social media programme.

This year they have created a ticketing system where customers can buy tickets directly through the website.

"We are hugely thankful for MRD, who have offered us back-end support and made our ticketing process much easier," Ms Tapley-Smith said.

Another sponsor, EuroCity, was also privileged to be a part of the event.

"We are proudly Hawke's Bay and are passionate about supporting our community," Kirsty Bewly said.

The sponsorship programme has allowed businesses to network and build relationships locally and nationally.

"Being a part of the Hawke's Bay Wine Association has opened up the opportunity for business-to-business trading with like-minded businesses," Mrs Bewly said.

Ms Tapley-Smith expected the event would be another sell-out.

- The auction will be at the Hawke's Bay Opera House, Hastings, on Saturday, November 12. Tickets are $50 and include wine tasting and nibbles before the auction. They can be bought at hawkesbaywineauction.co.nz.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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