Hawke's Bay will be the centre of the wine industry once again this month, with representatives from more than 20 New Zealand wineries gathering to discuss future challenges to the industry.

As part of the biennial Winery Engineering Association conference, winery operators including winemakers, engineering staff, bottling management and winery suppliers will host a two-day gathering at the Napier Conference Centre on October 17.

Conference co-ordinator Trevor Leighton said the conference theme this year would address future challenges to wineries.

The speaker programme would also include a session dealing with seismic risk and ways wineries could utilise engineering solutions to minimise those risks.


Winery representatives from across New Zealand would be in attendance.

"At our last conference in Hawkes Bay in 2014 we had about 140 in total with about 50 winery staff from 26 wineries. This year I would expect somewhere about the same numbers."

Speakers on the day will include New Zealand Wine Growers chief executive Philip Gregan, who would be speaking about the current state of play for the wine industry, and opportunities and challenges going forward.

"Winery design and winery engineering is a significant aspect of ensuring quality wine production, so it's very important for the industry," a spokeswoman for NZ Winegrowers said.

Following the conclusion of the conference there will be the opportunity for conference delegates to participate in a guided tour of Delegat's new, state of the art Hawke's Bay Winery.

Meanwhile, the Hawke's Bay A&P Bayleys Wine Awards is just two weeks away from being staged at the Showgrounds Hawke's Bay Tomoana's Waikoko Gardens on October 16.

A&P general manager Sally Jackson earlier said 38 wineries were represented, with entries also from 20 mainly EIT students, highlighting the EIT's support for the industry in Hawke's Bay.

Judges' chairman Rod Easthope, owner of Easthope Family Winegrowers, said that the Hawke's Bay awards are the most exciting of all the shows he judges.


"The sheer diversity of wines from our vast region of differing soils and micro-climates make for two full days of fascinating evaluation," he said.

"In the past, local winemakers dominated the panels," he said. "However, the trend in recent years is to utilise a greater diversity of wine experience, whether that be geographical or vocational."

Last year the Te Awa Single Estate Gimblett Gravels Hawke's Bay Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 took Champion Wine of Show.