Endless rain wasn't enough to stop attendees for the Women in Wine event, held at Te Awa Winery and Restuarant.

Women in Wine is a national initiative driven by New Zealand wine growers, with the main objective to promote and encourage the success of women in the wine industry.

National committee member and wine doyenne Kate Radburnd said she was thrilled with the strong attendance of yesterday's event.

"I think it's a good thing to be involved in and women need to be part of our industry and we would like to see greater involvement in all parts of it. Not just across wine growing and wine making, but sales and marketing and all aspects of the business," she said.


"The momentum of this initiative is to particularly provide women and also men with young views to have the infrastructure to advance in their careers and that's what we really want to them to do."

Radburnd said a pilot mentoring programme was launched on Wednesday and will be under way by early August, with nine regions representing women of the wine industry.

"They will have a mentor and a mentee in each region and we hope to roll out the initiative much further, so it's very very exciting."

Radburnd said the last night's event was about encouraging more women into the industry into a number of fields, but also to form something women do best: social circles.

"We want to establish a regional committee, so we wanted to hear from everybody on what they'd like out of this programme and I think, in some instances, it will be about networking and knowing a lot of us here, it will be about socialising.

"The lovely thing about this event is that we've got wonderful wine makers here, we've got friends of the industry, like tapas bars and luxury lodges, we've got many successful sales and marketing people here, so for our first event it's very exciting and it's integrated across all of these roles."

Executive director of the Hawke's Bay Wine Growers Association Liz Read said she was also thrilled with such an influential turnout.

"There was a really small gathering of women in wine last year, but this year the turnout is great, especially given the weather.

"Here in Hawke's Bay, we know that our wine industry really depends on all those amazing people we work with, tourism, hospitality, accommodation and even education.

"We have such a wide circle of friends in this industry and it was a pleasure to extend the invitation to them," she said.