More than 1.5 million newspaper and online readers of the Los Angeles Times have had their eyes opened up to Hawke's Bay by one of America's leading travel writers.

Liza Weisstuch is a freelance writer on travel, business, lifestyle, food and drink - whether it be wine or whisky.

She spent a week in New Zealand in November, including being one of 19 overseas writers at the F.A.W.C! summer series in the Bay.

The LA Times headlined one of the visit's outcomes last week with the acclaim: "New Zealand's Hawke's Bay is prime dining, drinking destination."


It's a food and wine indulgence reflecting on dining experiences in the region, and she said: "Napier is home to restaurants that rival some of Europe's finest and to robust reds and complex chardonnays that have put New Zealand on the world's wine map.

"And, like Art Deco," she says, having traversed some of the earthquake history and redevelopment history, "the culinary scene takes pages from global traditions. Together, it adds up to something uniquely Kiwi.

"In a nation this remote, 'local' isn't a trend," she writes. "It's a requirement.

"And between the land's rich natural bounty and what seems to be a universal entrepreneurial spirit among Kiwis, it's a requirement that makes for thrilling nourishment, as I learned on a visit to the Hawke's Bay Farmers' Market.

"Upon leaving Napier the next day and flying over the picturesque landscape," she says of the first few minutes heading for the South Island, "I realised what makes New Zealand so enchanting: against the backdrop of scenery that looks unchanged since Neolithic times, the cities have a fresh new-world feel to them ..." she wrote.

"It's a nation that seems to relish renewal."