The creation of a new wine festival in Central Otago is a good idea, but just not yet.

That was the conclusion from a survey of Central Otago Winegrowers Association (COWA) members done to gauge interest in establishing a new wine festival in Cromwell.

The Cromwell and Districts Promotions Group had wanted to hold the new summer wine and food festival at the Cromwell Racecourse at Waitangi Weekend and the COWA survey was done as part of research for the idea.

The results of the survey were presented to the Cromwell Community Board meeting yesterday.


Chairman Neil Gillespie said the survey showed winegrowers thought the idea ''had merit'', but was ''not viable at this time''.

There was also disagreement about the location of the event; whether a new Central Otago festival should be held in Cromwell or another area, Mr Gillespie said.

Chairwoman Janeen Wood said at the meeting the money spent on the survey had been worthwhile and it had gathered valuable information that would be used for future discussions about a possible festival.

She and COWA general manager Glenys Coughlan hoped a new festival could still be developed at some stage.

The survey was funded by a $5000 grant from the CCB.

The board voted to release another $18,000 of funding previously agreed to the promotions group for any new applications made until June 30 this year.