Central Wine Ticket to Obama Banquet Dinner

Otago Daily Times – 22nd March 2018

By Pam Jones

They don’t know what their wine will be served with, and aren’t betting on meeting the former president of the United States.

But two Central Otago wine industry representatives are thrilled their wines will feature at the banquet dinner with Barack Obama in Auckland tonight, and are also looking forward to attending the dinner themselves.

The 2015 pinot noir from Burn Cottage Vineyard, near Cromwell, and the 2016 pinot gris from Prophet’s Rock, in Bendigo, will be two of the wines served at the 1000-person dinner, being held at Auckland’s Viaduct Event Centre.

Both wines were already part of the Air New Zealand ”Fine Wines of New Zealand” programme, from which the wines for the Obama dinner were chosen.

Each vineyard received an invitation for one person to attend the dinner and Burn Cottage sales manager Andy Crozier and Prophet’s Rock winemaker Paul Pujol are attending.

Mr Pujol thought the chances of meeting Mr Obama were slim.

”I don’t think we’ll be catching up for beers afterwards.”

But he was thrilled by the ”nice surprise” of his wine being chosen for the event, and looking forward to being a dinner guest, even though it was ”interesting timing” having to travel to Auckland during the busy grape harvest.

The dishes being served at the dinner, and which wines will be matched with them, has not been disclosed. Air New Zealand has also not provided information about which other wines have been chosen for the event.

But Mr Crozier said having two Central Otago wines featured at the dinner was ”wonderful” exposure for the region.

”It’s great for everyone in Central. We’re [the wine community] a bunch of friends in Central. Anything that puts spotlight on to our region reinforces all the work that all of us are putting into the region.

”Anything that’s good for us [Burn Cottage and Prophet’s Rock] is good for the [Central Otago] region.”

He was also unsure if he would get to meet Mr Obama.

”It would be nice. But who knows?”

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For more information on the Prophet’s Rock Pinot Gris click here

To view the article on the ODT website click here