Editorial: Good job well done

20:17, Feb 11 2013
Wine festival
Home time: Grabbing a bus back to Blenheim
Wine festival 91
Waiting for a ride at 6pm closing time.
Wine festival 89
6pm, leaving the festival in a happy mood
wine festival 86
Happy crowds
Marisco
Enjoying The Ned and Marisco wines
Astrolabe
Astrolabe and Seresin Wines
Natalie MacDonald and Laura Scott
Natalie MacDonald and Laura Scott
Wine festival 79
Police keep an eye on the crowd
Wine Festival
Wellington International Ukelele Orchestra entertained the large crowd
The Wellington International Ukelele Orchestra
The Wellington International Ukelele Orchestra
Lee Davis
Lee Davis gets a good cooling off from the scorching heat
Spy Valley
Spy Valley Wines
Mary Leslie
Mary Leslie, Kate Harper, Andrea Forrest outside the Greywacke and Dog Point wines tents.
Dog Point Wines
Tohu Wines
Jackson Estate Wines
Jackson Estate Wines
Olivia Klein and Carla Runge
Olivia Klein and Carla Runge eating a Hungarian bread.
Brett Taylor
Brett Taylor, Anton James, Michelle James, Maree Taylor.
Wine Festival 63
Cooling time in the creek
Avalanche City
Avalanche City playing their set.
Avalanche City
Dancing to Avalanche City
Jason Yank
Winners of the best site : Astrolabe with Jason Yank, Jane Forrest and Simon Waghorn
Beck Hill
Supreme wine and food match went to Beck Hill from Figaro's Cafe and Stephanie MacIntyre from Cloudy Bay Wines. Presented by Chelsea Winter
Wine Festival 48
People come from all over the world to attend the Marlborough Wine and Food Festival
John Susman
John Susman serving up some tasty, fresh Cloudy Bay Clams to Kathryn Ulma from Alberta, Canada.
New Entrants band
New Entrants band
Loth Chrisiani and Philippe Pop
Loth Chrisiani and Philippe Pop keeping cool
Kalita Cresswell and Anders Petersen
Kalita Cresswell tops up, Anders Petersen
Hunters Wines
Keeping cool outside Hunters Wines
marlborough Security Officers
marlborough Security Officers: Tasi and Epati.
Scott Hutchison and Hannah McCabe
Scott Hutchison and Hannah McCabe
Penny Edwards
Penny Edwards from Omega Seafood serving Paella.
Ollie Barnett and Bec Pilcher
Ollie Barnett and Bec Pilcher
Andrew Maxwell and Anna Maxwell
Fashion in the vines competition winners, brother and sister Andrew Maxwell and Anna Maxwell
Andrew Maxwell
Andrew Maxwell
Fashion in the vines competition.
Fashion in the vines competition.
Wine tutorial
Wine tutorial
Peter and Denise Bush
Peter and Denise Bush
No 1 Family Vineyard.
No 1 Family Vineyard.
Paul Goodman and Gaynor Arthur
Paul Goodman and Gaynor Arthur enjoying whitebait at their 15th festival
Al Brown
Al Brown and Cloudy Bay Clams cooking demonstration
Al Brown
Al Brown and Cloudy Bay Clams cooking demonstration
Carmen Potgieter
Carmen Potgieter from Auckland for her first Marlborough Wine and Food Festival.

The organisers of the 2013 Marlborough Wine and Food Festival deserve a big vote of thanks, both for running such a good community event and for causing so little public disruption in the process.

The police have already voiced their praise of an event well done. Only two people were arrested at the festival site at Brancott Estate, and 10 were picked up on behaviour charges after the event, which is a minimal number considering the 7000-strong crowd that attended.

The unfortunate news is that nine stallholders were caught selling alcohol to under-age teenagers in a police sting. Various reasons will be offered for this happening, but the message is clear: It is illegal to serve anyone under 18. Everyone serving alcohol needs to be briefed on that law and on how to stay on the right side of it.

That hiccup aside, all the feedback appears to be positive. Wineries report having excellent support, the crowd was happy with the service and the entertainment and the behaviour was - on the whole - satisfyingly good.

So well done, everyone.

The benefits of having a well-run festival are numerous. The payoff in sales for the stall operators is obvious. More important is the promotional value for individual wineries and the generic branding for the region as all those captive visitors collect in a concentrated venue to enjoy themselves.

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For the community, it is a chance to celebrate and show off as the largest wine-producing region in the country.

The wines on offer show our vineyards and our winemakers can produce a great deal more than the sauvignon blanc that initially attracted international attention. Savvy still forms the backbone, but the strength of other styles is growing and winemakers continue to experiment with new styles. It is clear, just from the wines available on Saturday, that this is not a region standing still as suggested last month by some peevish Australians.

The Marlborough economy is not totally dependent on wine production, but the annual festival shows why the industry is one of the key contributors. The number of winery stalls alone demonstrates the spread of companies - and the people - involved.

As these companies watch their latest crop mature on the vines, we thank them for their efforts and wish them all well for the new vintage.

The Marlborough Express