Wildfoods wants Tohu wine
Tohu Wines has been granted the contract as the main beverage supplier for the annual Hokitika Wildfoods Festival after a successful trial run at this year's event.
The wine company has secured the contract for the festival till 2016. It has also been handed an exclusive agreement for the inaugural Great West Coast Whitebait Festival in Christchurch this year.
Tohu Wines, with vineyards in Marlborough's Awatere Valley and Waihopai Valley, is owned by the Nelson-based Wakatu Incorporation.
Tohu Wines winemaker Bruce Taylor and marketing manager Jessica Thomas were "thrilled" at the news.
Mr Taylor believed the festival selection was driven by the label's single vineyard, land-focused approach to winemaking that captured the essence of the Awatere.
Westland District Council marketing manager Sonya Matthews said Tohu Wines had resonated with the wildfood festival organisers as it tied in with the event's "food from the land" focus.
"We really liked the fact that Tohu is Maori-owned, and have a strong association with the land, which is very much what the festival is about – food from the land," Ms Matthews said.
The shift to Tohu Wines, from Monteiths and the West Coast Brewery beers, as the main beverage at the event came as a result of research and organisers wanting to cater to older festival-goers, Ms Matthews said.
Wildfoods attracted a surprisingly large number of festival-goers aged over 30.
A Business and Economic Research Ltd report of this year's Hokitika Wildfoods Festival found 48 per cent of those who attended were from Canterbury, and more than half were aged over 30: 30-39 years, 19 per cent; 40-49 years, 19 per cent; 50-59 years, 17 per cent. Just 29 per cent were aged between 21 and 29.
Meanwhile, wildfoods organisers were still etching out the rest of their plans for the Great West Coast Whitebait Festival in Christchurch in October.
The festival, which has support from the Westland District and the Christchurch City councils, promised to deliver the same quirky style of down-to-earth entertainment and food-focused fun, with West Coast whitebait "the star of the show", Ms Matthews said.
Whitebait fans from around the country and Cantabrians, many of whom were loyal supporters of the wildfoods festival, would have the chance to taste, see and enjoy something with a West Coast flavour in their own backyard, she said.
The Great West Coast Whitebait Festival will be held on October 20 in Cranmer Square in central Christchurch.
Tickets to the new Christchurch festival are available at whitebaitfest.co.nz.
- The Marlborough Express