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Hawke's Bay's Food and Wine Classic Has Announced More Than 40 Mouthwatering Events for 2021

Head to the Bay this June for medieval banquets, Oktoberfest-inspired parties and intimate chef's table experiences.
By Stephen Heard
April 14, 2021
By Stephen Heard
April 14, 2021

As well as serving as the country's oldest and second largest winemaking region, Hawke's Bay is regularly floated as 'the fruit bowl of New Zealand'. Thanks to its consistently warm and dry climate, the east coast region is overflowing with producers. It also counts more than 200 vineyards, 70 wineries, 30 cellar doors and restaurants, bars and cafes across its ranges, hills and plains.

Every year, the F.A.W.C.! Food and Wine Classic celebrates the blossoming Hawke's Bay food and wine scene with a series of feasting and drinking experiences, set in stunning locations throughout the region. Ahead of the ten-day summer affair in early November is the Winter F.A.W.C! program which runs over four consecutive weekends in June.

This year's event has just been announced and is set to feature more than 40 events from 4–27 June, from masterclasses and degustations to winemaker's lunches and garden parties. So what's on the menu?

Black Barn will once again team up with barbecue reggae act Fat Freddy's Drop for a lunchtime celebration of hot and spicy chicken, cold beer and bouncing beats. You can expect both Caribbean and Korean-inspired styles of fried chook. Napier's Old Church will be transformed into a classic German bier hall where steins will be overflowing with beer from the Bay's brewers and sustenance will come in the form of giant salty pretzels. A ten-piece oom-pa-pa band will complete the vibe.

Church Road Winery is throwing down a midwinter medieval banquet featuring slow-cooked meats, Middle Ages–inspired side dishes and mulled wine. Winery estate Elephant Hill is putting its new chef, Jason Brown, on the podium for an intimate chef's table experience for just 12 people. The Manse is hosting a sniff and scratch hunting expedition for luxurious truffles — the accompanying four-course lunch with chef Gary Grootelaar will incorporate your finds.

Of course, there's so much more than just feasting and drinking. World-renowned adventure guide Cam McLeay is hosting an afternoon of mountain biking, beer and barbecue; Camp South Retreat will bring participants back to earth with guided meditation, sound healing and a three-course plant-based lunch; plus you can settle in for an evening of wine-focused cinema — all while nursing first-class vino.

Winter F.A.W.C! is set to run across four weekends from 4–27 June, 2021. For the full lineup and to secure tickets, visit

Published on April 14, 2021 by Stephen Heard

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