Gibbston Wine and Food Festival co-ordinator Julie Hughes
(left) and Queenstown Resort College business development
manager Clodagh Hall toast the new partnership between the
rebranded festival and tertiary college. Photo by James
A dozen wineries will be featured in a rebranded and
revitalised festival with the support of the Queenstown Resort
The Gibbston Wine and Food Festival is the new name for the
annual Gibbston Harvest Festival. The event, which attracted
1300 people last year, will be jointly hosted by Brennan
Wines and Mt Rosa, in Gibbston Back Rd, for the first time on
March 16, from 11am to 5pm.
Festival co-ordinator Julie Hughes, of Arrowtown, said
yesterday the rebranding idea was to ''focus attention on the
wines of the region and the fact these wineries have achieved
awards throughout the world''.
''We've called it the wine and food festival because it's
instantly recognisable what it's about,'' Mrs Hughes said.
The Queenstown Resort College (QRC) has come on board as a
partner for the first time. The recognised leader in its
field was looking for an event to align itself with, she
''They will run the master classes, which are how wine and
the food complement each other and how food can change the
taste and texture of wine.
''We're also looking at education classes, by QRC, to get
people back to basics and introduce people to different wines
and try something new if they've always appreciated a certain
''The classes will teach them what to look for in quality
wines and appreciate the differences between them.''
Blending classes at Mr Rosa will enable patrons to experiment
with blends and ask questions of professional winemakers.
''It's a fantastic opportunity for people to come in and talk
with the winemakers themselves,'' Mrs Hughes said.
Traffic will be managed on the day and the festival will be
signposted off the Gibbston Highway. Buses will run from
Queenstown and Arrowtown to the festival and back. Food
stalls will be open and heli-tours will offer fly-overs of
the area at a special price. Entertainment for youngsters
will be provided and musical entertainment will be supported
by the Rockformation trust.
Traditional barrel racing will be the grand finale for the
young and young at heart.
''The festival is not just for the wine buff; it's for people
to come out and enjoy a relaxing day in a fantastic
location,'' Mrs Hughes said.
Entry costs $15 and includes a glass and three ''taste
tokens'' for the 12 wineries. Children aged 14 and under
enter free. Cash and eftpos payments will be accepted on
site. Online bookings will be available on the festival
website within the next week.