Wineries deny knowledge of royal luncheon hosts

KAT DUGGAN
Last updated 11:00 05/03/2014

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Where the royal couple will eat and drink during their Marlborough visit next month remains a mystery, as wineries claim they are not the chosen ones.

Brancott Estate was a popular guess for many on the Marlborough Express Facebook page, but visitor centre manager, Kathy Hughes said she didn't know who was to host the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

"It's definitely not us . . . we would love to have them here but I have no idea . . . I'd love that to be true," she said.

One member of the public commented on the suitability of Allan Scott Wines to host the couple, because they were New Zealand owned and operated. Allan Scott hospitality marketing manager Kylie Cornelius said they were not hosting the royal lunch as far as she was aware, but said would be "great for them to come to us".

"We are locally owned and operated, and Alan's MNZM [Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit] for service to viticulture is relevant too," she said.

Despite having hosted members of the royal family at his restaurant in Switzerland, Drylands Restaurant and Dodson Street Beer Garden owner Dietmar Schnarre said Prince William and the Duchess would not be having lunch at either of his venues.

"On the day they are here in Blenheim Dodson Street is fully booked anyway," he said. "I had them [royals] in Switzerland but not here, no."

Like Brancott Estate, Cloudy Bay Wines' event and wine communications manager said the winery would love the opportunity to host the couple, and their son Prince George.

"If it's not on their itinerary it should be . . . it would be fun," she said.

Saint Clair Family Estate director Judy Ibbotson said it was not hosting the family.

Others were not so forthcoming, with a Hans Herzog spokeswoman saying they would not tell the Express either way.

The restaurant did not reveal visitors' identities, regardless of who they were, she said.

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- The Marlborough Express

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