Rebecca Quilliam

Rebecca Quilliam is senior reporter at the APNZ News Service office in Wellington.

Royals get chance to sample Central Otago wines

The Central Otago wine region.
The Central Otago wine region.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will have the chance to enjoy a tipple from 30 Central Otago wineries during a visit to Queenstown on Sunday.

The local wineries have been selected to present their wines to the young royals at a private wine and food event to be held at host winery Amisfield.

Central Otago Winegrowers Association president James Dicey will escort Prince William through the tasting, while Central Otago Pinot Noir chairwoman Lucie Lawrence will accompany Kate.

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Mr Dicey said it was "an absolute privilege" to be able to inform and educate William on the region's wines.

"It's a fantastic opportunity and once-in-a-lifetime chance to have one-on-one time with William and talk him through our region's wines.

"I'm excited and a little nervous about the event given the level of international interest surrounding their visit," he said.

With a natural focus on Pinot Noir, the variety Central Otago is most famed for, the couple will also be introduced to Central Otago Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and sparkling wines.

"It'll be very much an informal event with us walking around chatting to the various winemakers, growers and owners representing each of their wineries," Mr Dicey said.

"The royal couple have asked to meet people of a similar age and those at the forefront of winemaking and they seem to have a real interest in wine."

A special menu created for the pair was being kept under wraps, but Amisfield's restaurant would use food sourced locally, he said.


James Dicey and Lucie Lawrence.

Ms Lawrence said she was a little nervous about spending time with the Duchess.

"My friends have been teasing me about what I am going to wear on the day. It's a really special day and a wonderful opportunity both personally and for the region's wines."

- APNZ

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