The first weekend of this year's Winter F.A.W.C! was a hit, with tourists and locals enjoying a variety of events.

The Winter Food and Wine Classic launched on Friday night with a Fine Wines of New Zealand Dinner with Josh Emett, Casey McDonald and Alistair Maling MW at Craggy Range.

The rest of the weekend was filled with culinary experiences including a midwinter Christmas party, a Downton Abbey dinner and cooking demonstrations.

Hawke's Bay Tourism general manager Annie Dundas said all the events were popular and there were many happy tourists and locals.

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"The weekend has been fantastic."

Church Road winemaker Chris Scott talks to people about how sometimes you have to look at things sideways at Church Road - A Sensory Journey yesterday. Photo / Warren Buckland
Church Road winemaker Chris Scott talks to people about how sometimes you have to look at things sideways at Church Road - A Sensory Journey yesterday. Photo / Warren Buckland

One of the highlights was having Michael Meredith in Hawke's Bay doing two events at Sileni Estates and The Old Church, she said.

"Feedback from "Sin City 2" was outstanding as was "Keeping up with the Kanagaratnams".

People also had a lot of fun last night at Mister D Dining for "Some Girls" with guests enjoying a three-course meal and music from the Rolling Stones 1978 album, Some Girls.

"It's always great food and amazing music."

Other weekend events included Unleash the Forbidden at Elephant Hill Lodge, Three Little Pigs at Mission Estate Winery and Church Road - A Sensory Journey at Church Road Winery.

More than 60 events are being held over four weekends for the festival, which ends on June 24.

Mark and Jo Rodgers, of Napier, in the Church Road museum at the start of the Church Road - A Sensory Journey event. Photo / Warren Buckland
Mark and Jo Rodgers, of Napier, in the Church Road museum at the start of the Church Road - A Sensory Journey event. Photo / Warren Buckland

Prices range from $25 to $275 and events 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.

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

• To find out more about what's on offer and buy tickets, visit fawc.co.nz. 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.