A "spectacularly good" 2013 vintage is set to add plenty of buzz to this year's newly-formatted Hawke's Bay Winegrowers Charity Fine Wine Auction.
The event on November 8, is to be held for the first time at Hawke's Bay Racing's Cheval Rooms. Now in its 23rd year, it will likely see the total amount raised for Cranford Hospice pushed beyond the $2.5 million mark.
The auction will be a rare opportunity for the public to chat with many local winemakers in one place, sample wines from a top vintage, pool resources and get their hands on some unique blends.
Sacred Hill winemaker Tony Bish described the 2013 vintage as "spectacularly good" and encouraged locals to grab the chance to taste and purchase wines pre-release.
"It's a great opportunity for friends and wine-lovers to get syndicates together and buy some great wines at favourable prices."
Mr Bish said it's nice to see so many wineries and businesses contribute to New Zealand's oldest and most established charity wine auction. "It's marvellous to see the entire industry and sponsors pull together to support Cranford. Many people in Hawke's Bay are likely to have a relationship with the hospice at some stage of their lives, and it can't survive on government funding alone."
Cranford general manager Helen Blaxland said many families have benefited from the hospice's free palliative care services, and was pleased to see the huge support and generous volumes being supplied for auction.
The support from the business community, including major sponsor WineWorks, means the vast majority of costs will be covered and proceeds will go directly to the cause.
A large range of wines, including magnums and one-off blends, will be offered by 39 wineries. A Vanuatu holiday package and large Hawke's Bay landscape painting by artist Freeman White are also on offer.
Organisers are promoting a relaxed event and hope to attract a wide range of people. Significant quantities are on offer, and there is the prospect of cellaring the wines for many years to come.
Tickets are on sale for $20, with former government minister and Napier MP Chris Tremain taking on auctioneering duties.
For more information, visit cranfordhospice.org.nz.