Inaugural sav blanc forum set for 2016

00:45, May 20 2014

New Zealand Winegrowers is to hold Marlborough's -and New Zealand's - first sauvignon blanc conference in early 2016.

The inaugural New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc Conference is expected to attract about 200 media and trade people, including sommeliers, wine shop owners and importers from Canada, the United States, Australia and Britain. New Zealand Winegrowers global marketing director Chris Yorke said the number of participants had been purposely limited "to attract the right people".

"What we want is an exclusive." Conference participants would spend two and a half days touring the region, meeting winemakers and grapegrowers and taking part in subregional tastings.

"We want to bring them and show them the region and the Marlborough sauvignon blanc story," Yorke said.

The conference would be held every four years to complement the Pinot Noir NZ conference in Wellington. "The last six months we were looking and reviewing the success of Pinot Noir 2013 so we decided we needed to add a sauvignon blanc [conference]."

Wine Marlborough would help organise the event and a committee was being formed to plan for the conference, with Pernod Ricard New Zealand Marlborough regional winemaker Patrick Materman being named the chairman, Yorke said.

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