This year's Winter F.A.W.C! opened with a bang with five dining experiences last night.

The main opening event was Fine Wines of New Zealand Dinner with Josh Emett at Craggy Range winery.

Hawke's Bay Tourism general manager Annie Dundas said the dinner was a perfect way to open Winter F.A.W.C! with a full house of about 70 people enjoying good food and wine.

"It was fantastic."


More than half the people at the event were from out of town last night and got to experience some of the region's best culinary treats, she said.

"Food and wine is a big part of our story.

"It's another great reason to get people into Hawke's Bay for winter."

This year there were lots of new events, many quite intimate, and some old favourites.

While many had sold out there were still some tickets left but people needed to get in quickly, she said.

Other events last night were Sin City 2 at Emporium Eatery & Bar, Dining at Downtown at Ormlie, Unleash The Forbidden at Elephant Hill - The Lodge and Keeping up with the Kanagaratnams at Te Awanga Estate.

There would be lots to look forward to this weekend with Funky Fondue Mid-winter Christmas Party at The Urban Winery and Michael Meredith, Cooking Demonstration and Lunch at Sileni Estates Winery being some highlights, Dundas said.

"It's going to be a pretty big weekend."


More than 60 events are being held over four weekends for this year's Winter F.A.W.C! which ends on June 24.

Events range from $25 to $275 and include everything from cooking demonstrations to dinners in luxury lodges, wine tastings, a battle to determine Hawke's Bay's best toasted sandwich, and truffle hunts.

As well as the feature events, from June 1 to 24 selected restaurants and cafes in Hastings, Napier, Havelock North and Te Awanga were offering dining deals ranging in price between $15 and $50.

To find out more about what's on offer and buy tickets, visit

F.A.W.C! is organised by Hawke's Bay Tourism and sponsored by Electrolux, New Zealand Sotheby's International Realty, Hawke's Bay BMW, Air New Zealand, Hastings District Council and Napier City Council.