Take a bow, festival workers
Well done, Marlborough, you've staged another stunning festival.
Marlborough Wine Festival 2015 was all we hoped it would be and the thousands who attended went away happy and impressed - well apart from those few who had to be turfed out because they misbehaved. But they are always a minority. The majority of you enjoyed yourselves and it was a pleasure to have you here.
It must delight the pioneers of the event to see what New Zealand's longest-running wine festival has become: an international event featuring stunning wines, delicious cuisine and top-flight entertainment all in a world-class setting.
The first festival featured just five wineries, with patrons bussed between the various locations. It was a riotous mix of a booze-up and a toga party.But over the years a lot of hard work has gone in to refining the event and the province has benefited hugely from both the influx of visitors and the national and international exposure.
The hours that the organisers have spent worrying about the weather, ticket sales, toilets, electricity and hundreds of other details have all been worth it.
But let's not forget that at the heart of it, this is a community event. While the focus of the day may be on the wine producers, the wonderful food, the celebrity chefs and the stars on stage, behind the scenes are hundreds of others who make the event possible.
Volunteers play a huge role. Lions and Rotary clubs, first-aiders, firemen, schools, sports and social clubs all get behind the event. .
And let's not overlook the warmth of our hospitality providers, cheery bus drivers and all the others who make our visitors feel welcome.
Our festival amongst the vines is something special, a unique opportunity to meet and talk to more than 50 of the region's top wine producers, enjoy all-day music and see some of the country's top chefs in action. But it wouldn't happen without the support of so many generous Marlburians.
So take a bow, all you festival 2015 workers, you've done us proud and we're grateful for your support.
You've helped put the province in the spotlight again for all the right reasons. Roll on festival 2016.
- The Marlborough Express