New wine event planned

Wine enthusiasts may soon have a new event on the calendar in Central Otago to look forward to.

A 10-day regional wine event called the Down to Earth Wine Celebration is being planned for around Labour Weekend.

Down to Earth Wine Celebration Ltd has applied for $4700 from the 2015-16 Earnscleugh-Manuherikia Promotions budget, the request to be discussed by the Vincent Community Board meeting today.

The money will be used for promotion and online marketing of the Alexandra Basin Winegrowers New Release event, which will be incorporated into a new regional 10-day event.

The New Release event proposes to showcase more than 50 new-release wines made in the Alexandra Basin.

The Down to Earth Wine Celebration will include ''immersive, experiential and educational'' events at Central Otago wineries, a report prepared for the board says.

It will target ''high-value wine tourists'' over the spring ''shoulder season''.

The Alexandra Blossom Festival committee wants $15,592 to cover operational costs such as those for road closure, security, toilet hire and waste removal.

The festival cannot apply to the Central Lakes Trust as it is no longer considered a charitable body.

The community board already provides an annual grant of $26,000 for the event.

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