Pick up your FAWCs for food, wine and a delectable slice of Hawke’s Bay

Published on : Saturday, November 5, 2016

unnamedThe so-called ‘fruit bowl of New Zealand’ produces such a wealth of food and wine that it celebrates this success with a festival held twice a year.

Running for 10 days every summer and every weekend of June in winter, the Hawke’s Bay Food and Wine Classic – otherwise known as F.A.W.C! – gathers the region’s finest producers and purveyors to present a feast of indulgence and enlightenment.

In just five years, F.A.W.C! has grown from an idea into one of New Zealand’s premier food and wine outings with winter and summer editions, drawing together an amazing series of innovative events across a small region inspired by enthusiastic local hospitality personalities and the finest produce that can be sourced, fished, foraged and blended into tasteful perfection.

Hawke’s Bay is a delightful setting for such a festival, having long-been a favourite of holidaymakers lured in by beautiful scenery and stacks of visitor attractions including a world-renowned collection Cheese takes centre stage at short courses hosted by international cheese guru, Juliet Harbutt.

‘The Bay’ has also reaped the benefits of fertile soils and a friendly climate, claiming the crown as the oldest wine region in New Zealand and growing into a place of pilgrimage for foodies.

This success story starts back in 1851 when the first grapevines were planted by Roman Catholic Marist brothers at Mission Estate on the outskirts of Napier. Nearly 170 years later Hawke’s  Bay has matured into the country’s second largest wine producer and provedore of an enviable array of other goods from the humble apple, avocadoes and honey, to artisan cheeses, olives, lamb, beef and seafood.

The 2016 Summer F.A.W.C festival, held 4–13 November, serves up the Bay’s bounty in style. Jam-packed with 82 exciting events in nearly 50 fabulous locations, it offers ample opportunity to tour the region and get a true taste of the terroir.

The world-renown art deco cities of Napier and Hastings host many festival events in restaurants, cafés and special pop-up venues such as the Art Deco Masonic Hotel and Marine Parade Domain.

The picturesque countryside surrounding them is liberally sprinkled with atmospheric venues including notable wineries and the region’s historic showgrounds – home to one of New Hawke’s Bay has matured into the country’s second largest wine producer and provedore of an enviable array of fresh produce.

FAWC Zealand’s finest farmers’ markets. Vineyard lunches, olive grove tours and garden parties are just a few ways to enjoy the festival al fresco in spectacular settings.

There are plenty of musical events, too, from a jazz-themed fancy-dress dinner and dance at Mission Estate winery, to the internationally acclaimed band Fat Freddy’s Drop dropping in for lunch in a secret location.

Other stars in the festival line-up include New Zealand celebrity chefs Al Brown, Josh Emett, Ray McVinnie and Nadia Lim, numbering in an 80-strong cast of food and wine experts presenting special dining events, demonstrations and cooking courses.

A rush of early ticket sales has proved that learning the traditional art of breadmaking is as popular as ever, but there are plenty of other opportunities for festivalgoers to get hands-on and learn something new.

Cheese takes centre stage at short courses hosted by international cheese guru, Juliet Harbutt. The School for Big Cheeses will share the secrets of prepping the perfect cheeseboard, holding back a Brie and even ironing a cheese, while Judging a Cheese by its Cover sees Juliet joined by Black Barn winemaker Dave McKee for the ultimate food-matching masterclass and dinner.
Unsurprisingly, the region’s world-class wines will flow throughout the festival, with a bunch of events dedicated specifically to the arts of making and tasting it. With more than 70 wineries, this vine-lined region is the perfect place to discover what the New World has to offer. And while its Bordeaux and Rhone rivalling reds and knockout Chardonnay continue to lead the charge, varietals such as pinot gris and Vineyard lunches, olive grove tours and garden parties are just a few ways to enjoy the FAWC festival al fresco in spectacular settings.

FAWC gewürtztraminer are sure to surprise.

Such delectable largesse blends perfectly with a sunny climate to make Hawke’s Bay one of New Zealand’s great food and wine destinations, at any time of year.

A wine tour can take in any of around 30 tasting rooms and more than a dozen cellar door restaurants. In between are country cafés, artisan food factories, fruit stalls and family-friendly attractions, all easily reached from the visitor hubs of Napier and Hastings.

One of the best ways to see the sights is on a bicycle. The Hawke’s Bay Trails – more than 200km of cruisy cycle paths and quiet country roads – offer an almost endless array of routes to suit visitors’ interests and itineraries. It’s a great way soak up beautiful coastal, riverside and rural scenery, with plenty of opportunity to sample the Bay’s delicious bounty along the way.



Source:- Tourism New Zealand


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