If interest and subsequent ticket sales to this Wednesday night's Hawke's Bay Wine Auction Pre-Tasting Event is anything to go by, the main auction evening next month will be humming.
"We had 200 tickets to this (pre-testing) and they sold out in less than three hours — it is fantastic," wine auction events manager Elisha Milmine said.
The pre-taste event being staged at the Art Deco Masonic Hotel has also been sparked by a one-off auction which Milmine described as a "one of a kind" as it was a unique, and indeed one of a kind, collection of a vertical lot collection of 32 vintages of the globally acclaimed Te Mata Estate Coleraine which has been collected over 20 years, and now donated to help raise funds for Cranford Hospice, by the Stewart family.
"It is a collection that does not exist anywhere else and is such a wonderful thing for the Stewart family to do," Milmine said.
"That's what this whole auction event does — it brings out so much kindness and generosity in people which is so heartwarming."
The annual Hawke's Bay Wine Auction, which is now in its 27th year, has drawn supports from the wine community as well as the art and travel sectors with all the raised funds going to Cranford.
"It is the largest annual contributor to Cranford."
Last year the auction raised $202,000 and over the past four years more than $620,000 had been raised.
Milmine said given the interest shown in the pre-taste event, where all 43 lots including many bespoke wines are available for tasting, she expected the main auction event on November to be another great fundraiser.
"I am confident it is going to go very well because there are some truly great wines going up."
She was equally confident the interest in the Stewart family's remarkable Coleraine vertical of vintages would also result in a great boost to the fundraising.
Ticket numbers for the November 10 auction at the Napier Conference Centre had been raised to 700 and they had been selling strongly.
"We have some tickets still available."
As well as those attending there would also again be a good number of absentee bidders attending through the online link which people could get information about from the hawkesbaywineauction.co.nz website.