As summer begins to show its sunny face, it's time to charge your glass and head for the nearest wine festival. Or the most remote. Or the one with the best food. Or best music. Here are five that should be on your (ice) bucket list.
It's all happening this Labour Weekend in Gizzy as the region's finest growers and makers open their cellar doors on the Saturday and come together in the city at Awapuni Stadium on Sunday to host wine appreciation workshops, tastings and live entertainment. Foodies will be sated by the finest locally grown fare.
Better known as FAWC!, this event is 10 days of merriment at over 60 events in stunning Hawkes Bay locations. Now in its third year, the summer series events include masterclasses, degustation dinners, mystery location lunches and a charity fine wine auction. There are free and paid events with winemakers and chefs, epic battles and sublime showcases.
The Wairarapa's best vineyards gather together for a day of toasting and tasting award-winning wines and fresh, sumptuous food. Public transport is provided, with extra trains from Wellington to whisk you into the celebrations and shuttle buses to carry you around. No picnics or BYO allowed, instead buy your festival francs and enjoy what's on offer.
Hagley Park plays host to this year's event which features wine growers from around the South Island accompanied by the sounds of some of New Zealand's leading and emerging musicians. Sort your syrah from your shiraz at a masterclass and find the perfect match with one of the 30 gourmet food producers.
New Zealand's oldest festival started at Brancott Vineyard. There are wine tutorials from the region's leading winemakers. Fashion in the Vines awards prizes to the best dressed and also showcases great New Zealand designers. There's live music from the Black Seeds and the Culinary Pavilion has celebrity chefs.
To read Megan's blog about sleeping in a vineyard click here.