F.A.W.C! – serving up food, wine and tasty experiences
14 Sep 2012
F.A.W.C! - Food and Wine Classic, Hawke’s Bay
2 -11 November, 2012
Food and wine enthusiasts are priming their taste buds for New Zealand’s newest summer highlight - a 10-day food and wine festival of mouth-watering events served up in a premium food and wine destination.
Hawke’s Bay, one of New Zealand’s leading wine producing regions, is about to unveil F.A.W.C! - the Food and Wine Classic - which brings together a collection of food and wine experiences unique to the region. The summer series will launch on 2 November 2012, and a winter edition is already planned for 2013.
With a programme of 50-plus events covering everything from source to table, exclusive behind-the-scenes and hands-on experiences to grand winemaker dinners, F.A.W.C! will set the scene for some of the tastiest events on New Zealand’s culinary calendar.
Food bowl of New Zealand
The Hawke’s Bay region - on the North Island east coast - produces some of New Zealand’s finest wines and premium produce, and has long claimed the title of ‘the food bowl of New Zealand’.
Long before the wine industry moved in, the vast plains and hills were the source of prime Hawke’s Bay lamb and sprawling orchards produced a wide variety of fruit for export and local markets.
But the coastal region’s dry sunny climate and gravel river plains also provide perfect grape growing conditions and the region is recognised internationally for its award-winning merlot and cabernet sauvignon wines.
The wine region covers several sub regions, each known for particular wine styles including Gimblett Road, the Triangle, Te Mata, Ngatarawa, Esk River and Maraekakaho.
Many wineries have cellar doors, restaurants or alfresco dining, and local farmers’ markets selling fresh produce and artisan products are favourite weekend haunts for local foodies and visitors.
Take your F.A.W.C! itineraries
The F.A.W.C! programme has been designed around authentic food and wine experiences, featuring wine and food personalities, and spectacular settings including vineyards and wineries, Art Deco architecture and al fresco delights.
Annie Dundas, Hawke’s Bay Tourism General Manager, says F.A.W.C! is for people who "seriously love to eat, like to drink good wine and visit places that inspire and delight - and can often be seen with mucky chins and licking fingers after a meal".
Participants can choose one event, put together their own rich programme of grand or intimate experiences, or choose from a set itinerary of themed events. There are itineraries to suit serious foodies, seafood lovers, meat enthusiasts, or connoisseurs of wine, and another for hands-on opportunities.
Large scale events include NZ Olive Festival (3.11.2012), the traditional Maori Kai in the Bay festival (10.11.2012), and the Hawke's Bay Farmers Market (4 & 11.11.2012). There are also two cycling events (4.11.2012) celebrating the launch of the new Wineries Ride cycle trail.
Sample events include:
- The Perfect Match: Wine, Dine and Recline (2 - 4 / 9 - 11.11.2012) - offers fine Hawke's Bay hospitality with a two-night luxury retreat for two that includes accommodation, breakfast and a private eight-course degustation dinner with matched vintage wines at top-rated Hawthorne House - all in the hands of the hosts.
- Catch, Cook and Consume (3.11.2012) - offers a completely interactive fishing experience. Learn how to fly fish, fillet trout, cook it and match it to an award-winning wine. This event is hosted by local experts Hamish and Diane Prins of Prinsy’s Rural & Wine Tours, and acclaimed chef Steve Beere from Mint Restaurant and Moana Park.
- One Big Tasty Night (3.11.2012) - with chef James Beck and Cuisine magazine food editor Ray McVinnie will present an intimate celebration for passionate foodies. On the menu at Taste Cornucopia, the modern 15-course degustation matched to fine Hawke’s Bay wines will take diners on a journey through Hawke’s Bay, with each course representing a regional area. Chef James Beck, who has cooked at top European restaurants - including London’s Savoy Hotel, Quiqui da Costa, Pastorale and Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck - has promised a unique food experience.
- The Vidal Charcuterie Culinary Workshop (4.11.2012) - covers the basics of making gourmet sausages from local produce and a dash of wine and food matching with the masters.
- From Farm to F.A.W.C! (8.11.2012) - includes an afternoon of foraging with head chef Leyton Ashley and visiting some of Hawke’s Bay’s top food producers - taste, collect and savour a three-course dinner and wine matches, designed and prepared by Leyton, while enjoying the views from the terrace of Craggy Range’s Terróir Restaurant.
- Winemakers Day Off (11.11.2012) - hosted by Church Road senior winemaker Chris Scott and local fishing expert Grant Petherick - begins with a coffee at Church Road winery and a 4-wheel drive journey to a popular river destination for a day’s fishing.
Background: Hawke’s Bay food and wine
A premier New Zealand food and wine region, Hawke’s Bay is a foodie’s heaven stocked with fine wine, fresh produce and gourmet dining destinations.
The Hawke's Bay wine region covers several sub regions, each known for particular wine styles including Gimblett Road, the Triangle, Te Mata, Ngatarawa, Esk River and Maraekakaho. Hawke’s Bay is best known for award-winning reds (merlot and cabernet sauvignon), but white varieties such as chardonnay are also receiving recognition.
With 42 of 70-plus vineyards offering cellar door experiences, there are many opportunities to enjoy Hawke’s Bay wine in either heritage or ultra-modern surroundings. Many wineries have restaurants or alfresco dining, while vineyard cycle tours take advantage of a relatively flat landscape and pleasant climate.
Regional food highlights - a wide variety of fresh produce and artisan products - feature on the food trail. The easily navigated gate-to-gate trail takes visitors to meet producers and sample local flavours.
Hawke’s Bay farmers' markets sell local food and produce. On Saturdays in Napier and Sundays in Hastings, shoppers can buy fresh produce and delicacies direct from growers and producers.
New Zealand's traditional Maori kai festivals
NZ cuisine - creating fine food art
New Zealand farmers' markets
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|Sea basket at Kai in the Bay, in Hawke's Bay