Marlborough on Auckland menu

AWARD-WINNING: Sean Connolly at his winning restaurant, Auckland's The Grill.
AWARD-WINNING: Sean Connolly at his winning restaurant, Auckland's The Grill.

Lovers of fine wine and food will be able to indulge their taste buds while sampling some of Marlborough's best wine and fresh produce during a four-day dinner series at an award-winning restaurant in Auckland next month.

Nautilus Estate, Hunter's Wines, Seresin Estate and Hans Herzog Estate will take turns hosting the exclusive dinner series at Auckland restaurant The Grill, owned by Sean Connolly, at SkyCity from February 24 to 27.

Each night, a representative from one of the wineries will host a four-course menu for 40 people with matching wines, some of which are only available from the cellar door.

Regional tourism organisation Destination Marlborough initiated the event to promote the region as an attractive holiday destination and encourage more Aucklanders to visit.

Destination Marlborough general manager Tracy Johnston said an increased Air New Zealand flight capacity between Marlborough and Auckland from January to April this year will help with their campaign to attract more Aucklanders here.

An Air New Zealand spokeswoman said the airline had upped flight capacity to cater for increased demand between January and April. The arrival of seven new ATR 72-600 aircraft at the end of October enabled it to make some adjustments to flight schedules around the country in time for the summer "high season", she said.

The larger capacity Bombardier Q300 aircraft, which carries 50 passengers, is now being used instead of the Beech 1900D aircraft, which seats 19 passengers.

The spokeswoman was not aware of any intention to maintain the increased capacity beyond April. However, Air New Zealand constantly monitored and adjusted flight schedules, in response to passenger demand, she said.

The Marlborough Express