The sun shone as foodies farewelled the last event of the inaugural Food and Wine Classic, leaving no palate wanting - but an appetite to become an annual fixture in the Hawke's Bay event calendar.
F.A.W.C. was a 10-day, 56-event extravaganza celebrating local cuisine in the unique Bay setting, that wrapped up with a finale barbecue at East Pier last night, said Hawke's Bay Tourism general manager Annie Dundas.
"It was a beautiful little gourmet barbecue on the beach," she said.
Other weekend events included escapes in luxury accommodation, relaxed barbecues, a pop-up restaurant by Michelin Star chef Adam Newell, secluded fishing and Kai in the Bay Maori and wild food festival.
Throughout the event tourists from as far afield as New York, London and The Netherlands attended events that ranged from high-end degustation dinners, to relaxed barbecues among the vines.
Ms Dundas said feedback had been overwhelming, and the dates had already been set for 2013.
"We have already set the dates for November 1 next year for the summer F.A.W.C. with a smaller winter event as well.
"We have had such great feedback not only from visitors but businesses and managers of events - just exceptional feedback and we are really pleased with the result."
Worldwide media representatives also descended on the Bay to be wined and dined, with the aim of promoting future events and cementing the region as a "must see" wine and food destination.
Among them were representatives from The Huffington Post from London, Canadian Living magazine, German publication The Rhein Main Presse, The Daily Meal (US), Madison from Australia and New Zealand's Cuisine magazine.
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