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Labour Weekend around the Nelson region

Spring has been around for a few weeks but Labour Weekend is the time food and beverage businesses shake off the effects of a sleepy winter, especially this year, and throw their doors open to the public for the upcoming summer months. It’s a time for festivals and enjoying the many food and beverage offerings around the region.

Let’s have a quick look at some of the events happening this weekend to help you get into the spirit of early summer.


Wine Nelson is holding its very popular annual new releases wine tasting event next week but, as usual, it is a sold out event so the best way to taste some exceptional wines from the 2020 vintage is to get together with a few friends, choose a sober driver and visit some of the wineries that will be opening their cellar doors for the summer this weekend.

Some, like Blackenbrook Vineyards, who don’t have a cellar door facility set up tasting tables in the wineries so you can have a little look behind the scenes while enjoying their wines. Go to download a regional wine map and guide.

The restaurant at Seifreid Estate has been closed for a couple of years but reopens again this weekend with new owners and a new menu. Harvest Kitchen is the new name and it’s owned by the people who used to run the café at McCashin’s. Co-owner Brigitta Young told me “our food will be similar to the food we were offering at McCashin’s Kitchen & Bar, but more wine geared, good quality, food that is tasty without pretention and we will be serving Seifried Estate wine, Hop Federation Beer and Capital Cider.”

Tasteology at Winelord in Brightwater have invited the Beat Kitchen food truck to create some dishes to pair with new release wines on Sunday. Craig will be serving – Proscuito, melon, rocket and Pinot Gris vinaigrette with the new Middle Earth Pinot Gris; fresh kingfish ceviche, lime, celery and daikon with the 2020 Albarino; and spiced lamb shoulder, sumac & orange yoghurt, house-made flatbread with the 2020 Viognier. You can buy one, two or three small glasses of wine paired with the food or just have one dish if you like.

Ngatimoti School Festival

This annual event is simply a fun place to be for the day on Sunday 25th. There is something for everyone, live music and entertainment, food and drink stalls and local crafts. Located in the beautiful Motueka Valley this is a special festival that has developed a very strong following over the years.

Moutere Artisans

On Sunday 25th October the Moutere Artisans open their doors from 10 am until 4pm so you can meet the artisans, some of whom don’t usually open to the public.

Their website says “This annual event brings people from all over the province to taste the new olive oil, the new release wines, to experience some of the country’s finest cheeses and talk to talented artists – people who make baskets, sculpture, jewelery and ceramics. It is a superb day out.” And I have to agree with that. Upper Moutere is delightful village where you will find New Zealand’s oldest pub, wineries, artists and of course The Old Post Office store. Go to for a map and details of the many businesses in the Moutere area.

If you are looking for something to do this weekend get out and enjoy some of the products made by the many wonderful food and beverage producers that call Nelson Tasman home. But remember, plan your day, take your time, relax and if you are drinking never drive, choose a sober driver and buy them lunch as a thankyou.

Wine picks

No1 Family Estate Rose RRP $47 – 5 stars

Made by the very talented Daniel Le Brun who this year is celebrating forty years of making Méthode Traditionnelle wines in Marlborough this is a wine that just oozes elegance. From the delicate pink colour to the fine persistent bubbles and the refreshing, balanced acidity that provides the backbone for delicate flavours of red cherries with brioche characters adding complexity this is a wonderful wine.

Old Coach Road Pinot Gris 2020 RRP $14 – 4 ½ stars

The full, rounded mouthfeel, beautiful cooked pip fruit flavours with powdery mineral notes are immediately attractive. Ripe, juicy acidity that results in a wonderful long finish means this Pinot Gris delivers quality and flavour way beyond its price point.

This wine won a gold medal at The New Zealand International Wine Show, 2020 and the recommended retail price is just $14. What’s even better is that you will find it on promotion for as little as $11 a bottle making it one of the very best value for money Pinot Gris’ on the market.

Published in the Nelson Mail 21.10.20

I have been writing a regular wine column for The Nelson Mail newspaper since 2000.

Unfortunately the column space is not big enough to include my thoughts on all of the many wines I taste. Hopefully this blog will fix that. It also gives me somewhere to archive the many columns I write. I will also include some favourite recipes from my dearly beloved who loves cooking and of course because wine and food simply go together. I will also point you in the direction of upcoming events and websites I think are great. Enjoy, Neil

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