WB130820HBWINE10.JPG HB Wine Growers chairperson Sally Duncan and Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst raise a glass in celebration of the opening of the Cellar Door on East Block in Hastings. Photo / Warren Buckland
WB130820HBWINE2.JPG Cellar door duty manager Lee Martin sniffs a wine. Photo Warren / Buckland
WB130820HBWINE4.JPG A small example of the wines available at the cellar door in the heart of Hastings.

East Block just gets better and better — the latest addition a "Cellar Door" adding to its appeal right in the heart of Hastings.

Opening on Thursday, on the corner of Warren and Heretaunga Sts, the stylish space is showcasing Hawke's Bay wines, some of which are not available at cellar doors.

Run by Hawke's Bay Winegrowers the opening follows the success of the Winter Wine Walk series.

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The concept has been supported by Hastings District Council with a grant from the Covid-19 relief fund complementing Hawke's Bay Tourism's Baycation promotion, Hastings District Council's CBD revitalisation programme and the growing vibe in Hastings Eat Street.

HBWG chairwoman Sally Duncan says she is thrilled with support from not only the council but the wider community.

Cellar door duty manager Lee Martin sniffs a wine. Photo Warren / Buckland
Cellar door duty manager Lee Martin sniffs a wine. Photo Warren / Buckland

"It has just been amazing. So Vintage in Te Awanga has loaned us all the furniture which is just a perfect fit for the look we were after— French/chic/industrial. I love it. & Fox has also lent us some other amazing furniture [it's a chair and lamp and a table to come].

"Where else in the world would you get support like that".

There are more than 30 Hawke's Bay wineries taking part along with rotating feature wineries or groups presenting special themed tastings.

Wines will be available to taste or to purchase by the bottle.

"A number of the wines on show are not usually available via cellar doors, so this is a great opportunity for the public to try something new and different," Sally said.

Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said Sally came up with the idea and along with the mayor's pre Covid task force has made it happen.

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"This is a little taste of what we are hoping to achieve in the Municipal Buildings when they open in 2021. A place for our wineries to showcase their wines right in the middle of town — a home for our wines," the mayor said.

"Post Covid there was a fabulous spirit in our community and we looked at ways to keep that going. This is one of the outcomes. I'm really hoping that Hawke's Bay stays Covid-free and in order to do that everyone has to do their thing."

Looking after you when you visit will be cellar door duty manager Lee Martin.

Lee said the first day of opening had been a great success. "We had lots of people in tasting and buying wine."

There have been a few last minute changes due to the move to level 2.

Everyone must sign in at the door and use the sanitiser, they must be seated for tastings and adhere to social distancing rules.

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Hawke's Bay Winegrowers Association is the official regional wine industry organisation, representing all wineries and growers.

A small example of the wines available at the cellar door in the heart of Hastings.
A small example of the wines available at the cellar door in the heart of Hastings.

Formed in 2006, early growers and winemakers organisations amalgamated to form one industry body. Its aim is to build the Hawke's Bay fine wine category, achieving international recognition as a sustainable and profitable world-class, wine-producing region.

It has more than 100 wine-producing members, 35 of whom have their own cellar doors which can be visited by the public, and around 65 grower members.

■ The Hawke's Bay Wine Cellar Door will operate on the corner of Warren and Heretaunga Streets for 13 weeks from August 13 to Sunday, November 8. It will be open 20 hours a week – Thursdays 1pm to 5pm, Fridays 1pm to 6pm, Saturdays 11am to 6pm and Sundays 12pm to 4pm (hours may change during summer).