Wine and food. Food and wine. The most iconic of duos and undeniably next-level in New Zealand. Every year, our country celebrates its world-class offerings with epic food and wine festivals scattered nationwide. Indulge in fresh seafood, sip wine among the vines or try something new at one of the events.
Here are New Zealand’s best food and wine festivals you won’t want to miss in 2019.
Marlborough Wine & Food Festival
The Marlborough Wine & Food Festivalis New Zealand’s longest running wine festival—it’s gearing up for its 35th birthday. Held at Brancott Estate (aka one of Marlborough’s most beautiful vineyards), festival-goers can sample world-class wines from more than 40 local wineries and gourmet cuisine from more than 20 food stalls. The vineyard transforms into a summer party for the one-day festival with live acts across two stages including a reappearance from Stellar* and fronted by Boh Runga. Be there.
Hokitika Wildfoods Festival
9 March, Hokitika
Those with a daring palate need to head to Hokitika for the famous Wildfoods Festivalin March. Devour delicacies of whitebait and venison to a more obscure smorgasbord of huhu grubs, lamb testicles and possum kebabs. This year’s festival is celebrating its 30th anniversary with an extra-special line-up of live music, a beer tent, buskers and the iconic ‘feral fashion’ contest.
Fullers Waiheke Wine & Food Festival
Date TBC April, Auckland
After a year’s hiatus, the much-loved Fullers Waiheke Wine & Food Festivalis back for 2019. It’s the perfect excuse to escape the mainland and eat and/or drink your way around Waiheke Island’s best culinary delights. The week-long festival showcases world-class vineyards and diverse eateries before capping things off with an unmissable weekend party.
Bluff Oyster & Food Festival
25 May, Bluff
Let your love of shellfish take you all the way to the bottom of New Zealand (literally) for the annual Bluff Oyster Festival. Held in May, the unique event claims to be “unsophisticated and proud of it” by dishing up the famous Bluff oyster and a divine range of seafood. Expect everything from paua patties and seafood pie to oyster croquettes and curried crayfish. Wash down with a Southern ale as you dance to live music.
Food And Wine Classic
7—30 June, Hawke’s Bay
The Hawke’s Bay knows a thing or two about fine wine and delicious fare. Experience the best of the region with the biannual Food And Wine Classic. The winter series breaks up the chilly stretch with more than 60 events held across four weekends in June. Cosy up near roaring fires as you dig into comforting dishes starring local produce paired with warming reds. In November, the 10-day event kick-starts the summer months ahead with alfresco dining, gourmet barbeques and lively picnics.
Visa Wellington On a Plate
We didn’t think Visa Wellington On a Plate couldn’t get any better. We mean, how can you possibly top wining, dining, burgers and pop-ups?! However, the capital city has proved us wrong, announcing the 2019 festival will run for theentire month of August. The extended festival now gives you 31 days (or five weekends) to eat your way around Wellington. You can expect festival dishes, set menus, ‘Beervana’ craft beer weekend and—of course—the festival’s region-wide burger takeover.
November 17, Martinborough
Toast Martinboroughis essentially a pub crawl—but with vineyards and more class. Held in Martinborough (just over an hour’s drive from Wellington), the one-day festival allows you to hop between the region’s best vineyards via shuttle buses. Wine is just the beginning with the most recent festival also showcasing mouth-watering food and more than 20 music acts. Always held on the third Sunday of November, stay tuned for more details on the 2019 festival.
Taste Of Auckland
Date TBC, Auckland
We’re jumping the gun by counting down to Taste Of Auckland—the 2019 dates are yet to be released. But, if it’s anything like the 2018 festival, then we’re in for another incredible culinary celebration. As Auckland’s foodie event of the year, the festival showcases the city’s best chefs, producers, winemakers, brewers and musicians. The recent festival turned things up a notch with its 10th birthday celebration at Queen’s Wharf. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2019...
Image Credit: Taste Of Auckland