Tickets to the much anticipated 25th Hawke's Bay Wine Auction have sold out. Organiser Annabel Tapley-Smith tells us the event is a win for the local wine industry and Cranford Hospice.

The event brings out a benevolence in the local wine industry - why do you think this is?
Firstly I think we need to offer thanks to the enormous generosity of our wineries, artists, sponsors and many other contributing people who give to this event, as a community we give and support Cranford Hospice, as it offers such an amazing service to those going through very difficult times. Most of us know of someone, whether directly or indirectly, who has been touched by the incredible work that hospice provides - the wine industry in particular has a product that most people love to consume so they see value on all levels in donating their wine for auction.

What percentage of bids typically come from out of the region?
Two years ago when I picked up this event, it was sitting at 20 percent from outside the region - last year 60 percent of successful bidders were from around the country, mostly the North Island

The auction celebrates its 25th this year - how do you explain its endurance?
Alan Limner, Kate Radburnd and John Buck to name but three, were instrumental in the event's conception 25-years ago - their main reason was to put Hawke's Bay wine on the map by showcasing unique blends of wine, and to also give back to the community. The unique blends of wine produced by really talented winegrowers are a major drawcard for this event and the fact that people can contribute to Hawke's Bay's most loved brand, Cranford Hospice, at the same time, makes it a really enjoyable and worthy experience.


Tell us about the work by Gavin Chilcott which is be auctioned.
Gavin has been incredibly generous by also adding not only the colourful large painting to the Auction list, but included four stripes of matching ceiling to floor wallpapers to the Art Lot. The painting is full of life and colour - in his own words: "Family experience has shown me the value of the hospice movement in the last months of life. This is an invaluable service".

Is the event about wine, or charity?
Without the wine there would be no wine auction - the event "offering" is the wine. People from outside the region won't be coming solely to this event because it supports Cranford Hospice, they will more likely be supporting hospices in their own regions; they attend this event because they want to get their hands on some incredible wines and talk to the talented winegrowers. So yes, it is definitely more about the wine. Ultimately the bigger the event becomes the more funds go to Cranford Hospice, as we operate to a break even event budget - meaning that all the auction proceeds go directly to Cranford Hospice Foundation Trust whose sole beneficiary is Cranford Hospice. The charity aspect is a wonderful by-product as people love to give.