About 1500 attracted to food and wine festivals

People in Central Otago over the weekend were spoiled for choice when it came to wine and food sampling, as both Cromwell and Alexandra hosted festivals on Saturday afternoon.

Almost 1000 people attended the festival in Old Cromwell, where they sampled wines from about 20 local wineries.

In a first for the festival, people were able to move on to the McNulty estate, a house and grounds neighbouring Old Cromwell, recently purchased by the Central Otago District Council. Organiser Heather McPherson said it provided three times as much space and had more shade, where people could relax as they listened to entertainers Jody Direen and Martin Chaney.

The inaugural Great Alexandra Craft Beer, Food and Wine Festival, held in Pioneer Park, featured 21 food and drink outlets and three bands. It attracted a crowd of about 500, leaving organiser Martin McPherson pleased and confident about the event's future. Police said no-one had been caught drink-driving after either event.

sarah.marquet@odt.co.nz