This publication is eagerly anticipated, as it provides an excellent snapshot of the New Zealand wine industry from top to bottom, geographically speaking. What used to be an annual is now bi-annual, and the gap between editions is too long nowadays, with the constant changes in ownership or actual running of winery operations. But the task of compiling the information is enormous, and it can be easily understood why the period between issues is such.
It must be understood that this publication is a guide for wine and food lovers, as well as lovers of living to explore the varied wine producing regions of New Zealand, giving advice on the wineries and cellar doors that will be open for visitors. Each of these is given a good profile covering points such as history and ownership, key people involved, such as the winemaker, the wines made, including any specialties, and other features which make that winery unique. Address, contact details, including website, hours open, dining and accommodation facilities are listed.
Cuisine Wine Country lives up to its name, as it also provides good information on places to eat, produce of interest, especially artisanal food people and stores, and places to stay. The magazine (with around 300 pages) also suggests other activities and cultural highlights, and includes examples of planned itineraries when visiting the major regions. All this is excellent, and the 2011 edition corrects a number of errors in the previous issue. This is no doubt from the input of the sub-editors supporting the work of the well-known contributing writers.
From a wine enthusiast’s perspective, the previous editions of the Wine Country Annual were excellent references of the New Zealand wine industry as a whole, with commentary on all important and noteworthy wineries, whether they had cellar doors or not. There was more information and detail in these earlier annuals. If this is what you want, the current format does not fulfil that need. It is important to realise how this publication has evolved. Taking this change into consideration, there is now a gap in the book market for a reference to the wine industry and its players, with, maybe, an assessment of their standing and status.
I commend Cuisine Wine Country 2011 to you, as it is a wonderful publication that supports the wine tourism industry, which in this economic climate, is suffering. It should inspire people to visit cellar doors, and add to a satisfying experience. Everybody will benefit.
– Raymond Chan
Cuisine Wine Country 2010, Fairfax Magazines, Auckland, 2010