New Zealand Winegrowers highlight “white wine” for the month of May

The theme of the month, “Pour Yourself a Glass of New Zealand” comes at a time when New Zealand’s top three exported white wine varieties are internationally celebrated with International Sauvignon Blanc Day (5 May), International Pinot Gris Day (17 May) and International Chardonnay Day (25 May) all falling in the same month.

Charlotte Read, general manager for New Zealand Winegrowers, explains why the trade body is choosing to highlight white wine this May: “New Zealand white wine makes up 93% of our global exports, and while Sauvignon Blanc represents 86% of our exports, New Zealand also produces other world-class white wine varieties such as Pinot Gris and Chardonnay.”

Invivo Air – the world’s first winery airline embarks on its inaugural flight

New Zealand wine producer Invivo took to the skies on January 31st for its first official flight. Traveling from Auckland to Queenstown, 30 guests enjoyed a unique wine tasting at 18,000 ft, a vineyard tour, winemakers’ dinner and an overnight stay at the five-star Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa.

Over 16 Invivo wines were sampled during the flight, including expressions from Graham Norton and Sarah Jessica Parker’s collections, and wines from the producer’s flagship Invivo range. Wines were also served alongside local Kiwi cuisine such as fresh oysters, West Coast whitebait, Lumina lamb and Stewart Island salmon.

Named ‘Cloud Wine’, the aircraft’s interiors reflect a vineyard aesthetic, with hanging vines, and guests received an inflight magazine.

Upon arrival in Queenstown, flight guests were transported to ‘Legend’s Terrace’, one of Invivo’s oldest vineyards in Central Otago, for a tour and tasting.

In the evening, guests enjoyed a lavish Winemakers’ Banquet-style dinner at Queenstown’s Botswana Butchery, which opened exclusively for Invivo Air. The five-course meal featured dishes such as Freshly Shucked Oysters and Seared Fijian Yellowfin Tuna Tataki – all paired with Invivo’s range of wines and spirits. Guests stayed overnight at the Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, before returning on the Invivo Air flight the next morning back to Auckland.

“As a Kiwi company, we loved showcasing some of our stunning wine regions, vistas, gastronomy and of course wine to our passengers,” states co-owner, Tim Lightbourne. “We’ve had such positive feedback from our guests, we’re planning our next experience – we’d love to run an international flight for our next trip!”

Future Invivo Air flights are now available from

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Les Dames d’Escoffier Ontario’s 1st “Annual White Party” with Helen Morrison, Senior Winemaker, Villa Maria Wines NZ – July 21st [Toronto Event]

Les Dames d’Escoffier Ontario is thrilled to announce that their first “Annual White Party” will be held July 21st from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. Guests are encouraged to dress up in their favorite all-white attire for this premier event.  The evening will be filled with music, gourmet food, and wine tasting led by Helen Morrison, Senior Winemaker, Villa Maria Wines, one of New Zealand’s prominent wine producers.

Helen will also be presented the “2022 Riedel Winemaker of the Year Award” by Professor Leo Chan from the Cambridge Food and Wine Society of Canada.

White Party tickets ($63.61 each) Eventbrite

“Les Dames d’Escoffier Ontario is thrilled to have Helen Morrison, Senior Winemaker of Villa Maria Wines, at our first “Annual White Party Event” said Liz Palmer, President of Les Dames d’Escoffier Ontario. “We can’t think of a more photo-op-worthy way to gather with friends and colleagues, nibble on some great food and taste some wonderful Villa Maria wines!”

All proceeds go towards “Les Dames d’Escoffier Ontario Student Bursary Program”

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New Zealand Winegrowers Join the Flight for a “White Wine Emoji”

There are currently only three symbols available on devices to denote wine currently are a glass of red, two clinking champagne flutes, and a bottle of sparkling wine.

The US failed in their bid for a white wine emoji — perhaps New Zealand will have better luck.

New Zealand Winegrowers is throwing its weight behind a petition requesting the Unicode Consortium, the body approving new emoji on phones, to add the ‘long missing’ white wine symbol.

“New Zealand white wine makes up 93 5 of its global exports, New Zealand Winegrowers general manager Charlotte Read states and further says “We hope that by requesting the white wine emoji it will shine a spotlight on the breadth of high-quality white wine that New Zealand produces, as well securing the emoji that has long been missing from the keyboards of digital devices since their creation in the late 1990s.”

A movement emerged to get a specific white wine emoji in 2019 with California-based winery Kendall-Jackson submitting a 19-page proposal for review by authorities.  [link to the proposal:]

This proposal failed to get approval; the Unicode Consortium that counts Google, Facebook, Microsoft and IBM executives among its board members said it would “continue to consider emoji for future addition.”

NZ Winegrowers marketing committee member and Te Whare Ra co-owner and winemaker Anna Flowerday said it made sense for New Zealand to take over efforts to add a white wine emoji.

“It was great timing with our ‘Pour Yourself a Glass of New Zealand’ theme focus next month.

“Three of our white wine we make have their wine day in May, so it was just a right time to push for it again.

NZ Winegrowers marketing committee member and Te Whare Ra co-owner and winemaker Anna Flowerday said New Zealand has a strong case, given that the country produces majority of white wines.

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New Zealand Winegrowers Announce Inaugural 2021 Wine Week

The New Zealand Winegrowers has just revealed details its inaugural New Zealand Wine Week, which kicks off February 8th, 2021 as a virtual event.

With activities planned across the USA, UK, Ireland, and Canada, there is a wide-range program including tastings, discussions, and online activities, including ‘Challenging the Myths around Food Miles.’

The events have been designed to explore New Zealand’s wine story showcasing its “premium, sustainable, and diverse wines”, states NZW.

They will also offer participants the opportunity to participate in live discussions with leading wine voices from around the world.

“In these challenging times we are delighted to be able to work together across our key Northern Hemisphere markets to bring a wide range of valuable intel and insight from renowned speakers,” said Charlotte Read, general manager, marketing.

“We aim to shine a light on many aspects of New Zealand wine during this week and show that even though we can’t physically be together, we can raise the profile and celebrate New Zealand wine with our trade and media audiences,” she added.

Other activities include: ‘What’s New… What’s Next!?’ – a winemaker led panel discussion seminar exploring behind the scenes in New Zealand wine cellars;  ‘Pinot Noir Soils’ – a webinar delving into the different regions that excel in growing Pinot Noir; Syrah Masterclass – exploring the diverse styles and regional expressions with Rebecca Gibb MW; New Release Self Pour – a guided self-pour tasting to explore a set of new releases from New Zealand; and Instagram Lives with Dr. Jamie Goode plus several New Zealand winery personnel to explore different facets of New Zealand wine.

As part of the week, an online New Zealand wine catalog will also be launched, aimed at trade-based in US, UK, Ireland, and Canada, which will provide a service whereby customers can browse participating winery profiles and compare varieties, price, channel, and availability in each market.

For full details and registration