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Winery tour suits Kat just fine

SONIA BEAL
Last updated 10:31 21/11/2012
Kat Wiggins
WINE WALK: Kat Wiggins, of Britain, swapped strappy stilettos for some solid boots trekking through Marlborough vineyards

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Kat Wiggins is a lover of the finer things in life - fine wine, fine food and fancy shoes.

The 32-year-old Master of Wine student arrived yesterday in Marlborough, arguably the home of fine wine in New Zealand, on a three-week trip under the Wine Marlborough New Zealand-United Kingdom Link Foundation John Avery Scholarship.

A "full-on" schedule of winery visits, tours around the region, activities such as cheesemaking and gleaning information from wine industry big-wigs were among the events on her itinerary, she said.

"I'll be bothering winemakers for whatever tricks they want to tell me."

Ms Wiggins, from Essex, is also attending the Air New Zealand Wine awards dinner in Wellington on Saturday before taking an excursion to the Martinborough wine region.

She is a marketing manager for international wine merchant Lay and Wheeler, established in 1854 and bought by Majestic Wine in 2009.

She has been with the company for 10 years, her previous role for them being in fine wine sales.

It is well away from her degree from Cambridge University, where she studied Norse and Celtic languages, specialising in Irish and Welsh.

Ms Wiggins applied for the scholarship to get in-depth knowledge about the industry in New Zealand.

She also wanted to make contacts here, especially after falling in love with the country during her previous visit seven years ago.

Wine Marlborough general manager Marcus Pickens was last year the inaugural recipient of the wine industry scholarship, which aims to strengthen links between Marlborough and its biggest overseas market.

Check out Kat's blog about her trip at thewinekat.com

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- The Marlborough Express

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