Relocated festival popular

Gibbston Wine and Food Festival organiser Julie Hughes and Rockburn winemaker Malcolm Rees-Francis take in Saturday's festival in the Queenstown Gardens. Photo by Christina McDonald.
Gibbston Wine and Food Festival organiser Julie Hughes and Rockburn winemaker Malcolm Rees-Francis take in Saturday's festival in the Queenstown Gardens. Photo by Christina McDonald.
There wasn't much room for walking in the Queenstown Gardens on Saturday, but there was a lot of room for enjoying some of the region's finest food and drink.

The Gibbston Wine and Food Festival was relocated to the gardens this year after nine years in Gibbston, and organiser Julie Hughes, of Arrowtown, estimated 1800 people passed through the gates.

The number was ''definitely more than in previous years''.

''It [the crowd number] makes it sustainable,'' Mrs Hughes said, and it is likely the festival will be held in the gardens again next year.

This year's event had nearly 30 food and wine stalls and Mrs Hughes said the festival committee had learnt that more space would be needed between the stalls next year.

''That was something that we couldn't have foreseen because we couldn't anticipate how many people there would be.

''Otherwise, I think that the committee is really, really happy with how it went.''

Drawcards to the event were food master classes presented by New Zealand's first MasterChef winner Brett McGregor and current Queenstown hopefuls Jaimie Stodler and Becs Stanley, a children's activity zone and tasting tokens with a commemorative wine glass.

The food and wine master classes were popular, Mrs Hughes said, and ''that's the sort of thing that we want, for people to learn something new''.