After about seven years, HB Winegrowers has moved back into the Hastings CBD and, for the first time, has a showcase cellar door.
Adding to the revitalisation of the burgeoning Hastings ‘Eat Street’, the Cellar Door has found its home next to Hastings Distillers on the corner of Warren and Heretaunga Streets, where Denton Wyatt bookshop lived for 86 years.
The new space gives visitors the opportunity to sample Hawke’s Bay wine (30 of the 100 wine producers from throughout the region are participating), along with feature tastings of special themed wine groups or varietals. For instance, wines from Gimblett Gravels, Bridge Pa Triangle, organic wines, Chardonnays and so on.
Some of the wines on show are not usually available via cellar doors, so this is an opportunity to try something new and different. Wines are available to taste or to purchase by the bottle.
The last Hastings home for the region’s grape growers and winemakers’ association was in the Opera House Assembly complex before moving to EIT and more recently to Paritua Winery. The Cellar Door has been supported by Hastings District Council with a grant from the COVID-19 relief fund.
“Essentially the Cellar Door is a first step in implementing our new strategic plan, with particular relevance to visibility of Hawke’s Bay Wine in the CBD and our engagement with member wineries,” says Alwyn Corban, HB Winegrowers part-time executive officer.
It complements Hawke’s Bay Tourism’s Baycation domestic tourism promotion and the Council’s CBD revitalisation programme, says Corban.
In addition to being the regional Cellar Door and office, the space will be used by the Association and other wine-related groups for meetings.
The Cellar Door opened on Thursday 13 August and Sally Duncan, HB Wine chair is enthusiastic about the visitor number, feedback, and sales over the first four days, even with a scramble to meet COVID-19 Level 2 requirements.
“We were a bit anxious about such a big venture, but we had a fabulous response. We’re over the moon, and perhaps not surprisingly a repeated comment was, ‘Why have you never done this before?’.”
Check it out in person – it’s open Thursdays 1pm to 5pm, Fridays 1pm to 6pm, Saturdays 11am to 6pm, Sundays 12pm to 4pm.
Or take this virtual tour https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=h83hAeBPPhh