2023 is the year to get back out and about! It’s time to shake of the pandemic blues of the last three years and explore all the wonderful things Aotearoa has to offer – particularly our amazing food and wine.
Fill your calendar with these 16 delicious festivals and eat and drink your way through New Zealand next year, but make sure you plan – most sell out quickly!
Hawke’s Bay, 21 January
The Bridge Pa Wine Festival will bring together seven of Hawke’s Bay’s finest wineries for a day of great wine, food, and a range of top-quality musical entertainment; with each winery producing different offerings, to make it seven festivals in one. Abbey Estate, Alpha Domus, Ash Ridge, Oak Estate, Paritua, RedMetal Vineyards and Sileni Wines will all host individual events, music, and food and wine matches.
A major attraction of the event is that the participating wineries are located less than five-minute drive apart, and participating wineries will be connected by hop-on/ hop-off bus services throughout the day, allowing you to visit as many wineries as you choose.
Central Otago, 26-29 January *NEW IN 2023*
Celebrate a long weekend of wine, food and adventure across Central Otago’s top vineyards and restaurants at Roam Central. The festival comprises four anchor events between 26-29 January, including a flagship inaugural wine and food festival in Gibbston on 28 January.
Start your adventures at Pinot Central in Queenstown – the heart of the festival – before roaming the district to taste, dine, explore, and celebrate. The finest winemakers, growers and chefs are coming together for this epic inaugural celebration of Central Otago.
Marlborough, 28 January
Settle in for an afternoon of vinyl in the vines and enjoy fantastic local food and wine at the picturesque Sound of White Vineyard, Marlborough.
Marlborough, 11 February
World-famous for its fabulous selection of Marlborough wines, delicious cuisine and brilliant atmosphere, the Marlborough Wine & Food Festival returns in 2023. Held at the Renwick Domain in the heart of wine country, celebrate Marlborough’s wine, people, food, and landscapes.
Sample beautiful local wines and meet the people who make them, learn wine and food secrets at masterclasses, indulge in sumptuous wine/food matches prepared by famous chefs and enjoy live music from top bands.
Wairarapa, 17-18 February
Town meets country at this quality annual event held on the banks of the Ruamahanga River in the Gladstone region. Enjoy Wairarapa’s finest wineries, highest profile restaurants and food producers, and great entertainment over two days.
Auckland, 2-5 March *NEW IN 2023*
Join thousands of food, wine and design lovers at this four-day festival and Indulge your senses and enjoy Aotearoa’s sounds, tastes and design inspirations with the country’s best wineries, restaurants, musicians and international design experts.
North Canterbury, 5 March
Set under the oaks in Glenmark Domain is the coolest little wine festival. Over 4,000 fine folk hit the road and head to North Canterbury for a celebration like no other. Support local harvesters, chill out in pockets of entertainment, and immerse yourselves in conversations with other lovers of local produce and fall in love with everything North Canterbury has to offer.
Wanaka, 18 March
Join world-class Central Otago Wine and Food producers surrounded by the majestic scenery of Lake Wānaka. Wine Tastings, Live Music, Demonstrations, Great food, Ripe – The Wānaka Wine & Food Festival has all the ingredients for a memorable day out.
Auckland, 19-21 May
The Waiheke Island Wine and Food Festival is a 3-day multi-site event where 10+ vineyards will offer wonderful wine, food, live music, and art exhibitions. Unlocks unique vineyard experiences in the form of a food pairing and tasting at participating vineyards, all enjoyed alongside on-display art and live music.
Hawke’s Bay, 1 April
At a spectacular riverside setting on Tuki Tuki Rd, 16 wineries paired with 8 eateries will be offering festival goers the opportunity to sample some of the region’s finest wine matched with food produced by some of the region’s award-winning chefs. Throughout the afternoon 3 bands will be providing entertainment, catering to all palates.
Gisborne, 25-28 May
Held to coincide with International Chardonnay Day on 25 May, The Chardonnay Affair is a celebration of all things Chardonnay on the East Coast of New Zealand. During the 4-day affair, you can celebrate aboard the historic steam train WA 165 as you wind your way from Gisborne railway station through the countryside.
In addition to the scenery, the steamy train ride offers you the opportunity to connect with the clever winemakers who craft these classic Chardonnays. Another highlight of the festivities is the Chardonnay In The Vines long lunch, where you can mingle with Gisborne’s finest Chardonnays among the vines and enjoy the best local produce and kaimoana (seafood) from East Coast shores.
Hawke’s Bay, June
F.A.W.C! Food and Wine Classic is Hawke’s Bay’s iconic culinary festival, held twice a year – June and November – in stunning locations throughout the region.
The warm embrace of Winter F.A.W.C! is held over four weekends in June for its tenth glorious sitting. Foodies can discover the very best of Hawke’s Bay Food and Wine Country with a stunning line up of mouth-watering morsels. From extraordinarily talented chefs, award-winning winemakers and passionate producers come more than 40 events overflowing with inspiration, creativity and flair. Running across four weekends, Winter F.A.W.C! is a magnificent month of feasting, drinking and most of all savouring the very best of Hawke’s Bay.
Auckland & Wellington, October
Wine over 350 wines from 70 wineries and over 20 varietals from across New Zealand, Winetopia is one of New Zealand’s most comprehensive public wine tasting events.
With over 40 talks from wine industry experts paired with delicious food and award-winning musicians, Winetopia s an event not to be missed.
Gisborne, 23 October
The First Light Wine & Food Festival is Gisborne’s pre-eminent wine event. Wine & Food Gisborne prides itself on offering a premium wine event with over 14 varietals of Gisborne wine to try, partnered with an amazing day of live music and superb food choices. Relax under the Gisborne sun, enjoy the wonderful hospitality and enjoy everything a weekend in Gisborne brings you – fun, sun, surf, sand and so much more.
Wairarapa, 19 November
For those seeking quaint, small-town charm and glorious green views, Martinborough is the place for you. Just over an hour’s drive from Wellington, this wee Wairarapa town has a big wine reputation – and Toast Martinborough is a day-long celebration of the region’s vineyards and the fine wine produced here.
Beginning in the heritage town square cruise the festival on free shuttles that travel around the picturesque vineyards. There are food stalls available and, at the end of the day, meet back at the square for a live music performance to end the festival on a high. Toast Martinborough is truly enjoyed, talked about, and continually sought out near and afar. It is an event that people leave dancing and singing, laughing and remembering.
Hawke’s Bay, 3-12 November
Hawke’s Bay F.A.W.C! Food and Wine Classic is a glorious blend of local and visiting talent, mouth-watering produce to rival any region, enticing event themes to suit all manner of tastes, and stunning venues to showcase the lot. With beautiful landscapes, a balmy climate and award-winning food and wine, Hawke’s Bay is a go-to region for taking it easy and soaking up the surroundings.
Food and Wine Classic is a 10-day festival that involves ticketed events at a range of venues and locations, including cocktail workshops, a secret-location long lunch, a Portuguese feast, and more. There are also free events such as a taco party with local wine and beer, and a special Italian-themed cocktail crawl in Napier’s art deco CBD. Nothing less than you’d expects from a culinary festival in New Zealand’s Food and Wine Country.