The Hot Red Hawke’s Bay Wine Expo is one of the must-attend events on the New Zealand wine lovers’ calendars. It has evolved over the nine years of being run from showing the red wines from some of the keener producers of Hawke’s Bay to a superb showcase of all styles of wines from a broad and varied group of winemakers representing the diversity of the region. Lyn Bevin and the Hawke’s Bay Winegrowers Inc. have done a wonderful job of promoting the expo and taken it to Auckland and Wellington, as well as running it at home.
This year, at the Wellington showing, there were 21 wineries exhibiting over 180 wines. By attending, one could make an appraisal of some of the country’s leading Chardonnays, Viogniers, Pinot Gris, Bordeaux-varietal blends, Syrah and Merlot wines. The wineries represented ranged from large to tiny, all with interesting wines to offer for tasting. And wines from the last five vintages could be assessed, including those from the outstanding 2009 harvest as well as the more challenging 2010 and 2011 years.