Hawke's Bay Winegrowers will host 60 international wine media and experts this weekend at the inaugural Classic Reds Symposium.

Guests will taste their way through some of New Zealand's top red wines including Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet to deepen their understanding of the country's diverse regions and evolving wine styles.

Event manager at Super Events Elisha Milmine said Hawke's Bay Winegrowers was proud to be hosting the two-day NZ Wine event.

"For the 26 New Zealand wineries involved this one-on-one time with the international guests coming from Sweden, Germany, Canada, USA, UK and Australia is a great opportunity to form relationships, which is a foot in the door to international markets.


"Guests will be immersed in a relaxing atmosphere, truly stunning surroundings and given the opportunity to enjoy themselves while tasting exceptional wines," Ms Milmine said.

The symposium, which is the first of its kind in the country, follows two consecutive conferences which first began on Saturday.

The Aromatics Symposium took place in Nelson until Monday, before 90 international wine experts headed to Wellington as part of Pinot Noir New Zealand - the largest conference in the Southern Hemisphere to be devoted to wine.

The two-day event, which finishes tomorrow evening, will consist of masterclasses and tastings at locations around the region and guests will experience panel discussions, keynote speakers, cultural performances and opportunities to meet winemakers while enjoying local produce.

Master of Wine, Steve Smith (Smith & Co, Hawke's Bay), will lead a panel of industry experts, "presenting and discussing the unique attributes of New Zealand's classic reds, taking guests through soil type and temperature classification and the effect these factors have on the distinct style of New Zealand Syrah and Merlot/Cabernet blends," Ms Milmine said.

Guests were chosen on an invitation only basis and the New Zealand contingent includes wine personalities such as Bob Campbell MW, Cameron Douglas MS, Emma Jenkins MW, Jane Skilton MW, Stephen Wong MW and Tessa Nicholson.

The majority of the event guests will be accommodated at the newly-built Porters Boutique Hotel in Havelock North and general manager Odette Bowyer said the exposure was fantastic.

"We are really happy to have an ongoing relationship with NZ Wine. We have 100 per cent occupancy from now until Monday, with NZ Wine having 41 out of the 42 rooms available," Ms Bowyer said.


Hawke's Bay is New Zealand's oldest wine region and the second largest.

It is the country's leading producer of premium red wines, responsible for 88 per cent of New Zealand's production (in tonnes) of Merlot, Cabernet, Sauvignon and Syrah grapes in 2016.