Summertime in the City - The Harvest Hawke’s Bay Wine Festival

Hawke Bay Festival

Photo by dandownunder — Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved

It’s that time of year again. The winter holidays have passed, and January is over, leaving high oil prices, high waisted pants and a horrid ex-president in its wake. Welcome to February — a month that causes many people to wonder if the thermometer will ever creep above 30 again.

At KadmusArts, we have the formula to turn cabin fever into Copacabana. It’s called summer festivals, and it’s happening now in a far away paradise known as New Zealand.

If you’ve had it up to here with down coats and long johns, take off for the creative city of Nelson, where summer and the Adam Chamber Music Festival are both in full swing. Enjoy two weeks of classic music in intimate settings, before slipping off to sleep beneath the Maori moon.

Next up, trade in Valentine’s Day for a wine-filled Waitangi Weekend in beautiful Hawke’s Bay. Serious wine, sublime food, and spectacular settings await you at this two-day festival dedicated to regional vineyards of all sizes. From the terroir workshop run by the Mission Estate Winery to a free tasting and jazz concert at Black Barn Vineyards, the festival features over 20 different wineries, with food pairings, live music and tastings galore.

New Zealand has ten main wine growing regions, each displaying a diversity in climate and terrain that equally benefits the country’s culinary tradition. In between glasses of Chardonnay from Central Otago, or a local Pinot Noir, festival goers will have the opportunity to sample traditional specialties like bluff oysters, greenshell mussels or paua, an abalone inside a foreboding bluish-green shell that looks as awful as it is good.

New Zealand might be one of the only countries in the world without a motto, but with classical music by day, classical vintages by night, and fresh shellfish to boot, who cares?

Find other festivals in the youngest country on earth.

- Courtney Maum

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