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The greatest celebration of kiwi wine is returning to Wellington.

New Zealand’s biggest wine tasting event, Winetopia presented by Singapore Airlines, is an opportunity to get under the skin of the New Zealand wine scene, discover the colourful personalities that have made this country’s wine their life’s work, try hundreds of lovingly crafted wines, and meet the wine makers across all regions of New Zealand.

This year’s Masterclass programme promises a full-bodied experience and a complex bouquet. There’s a variety of talks including ‘Do You A-Gris or Disa-Grigio’ by Gabrielle Webster, head sommelier from the iconic Iceberg restaurant in Sydney, and ‘A Perfect Partnership’ a food and wine matching masterclass led by Nobel Rot. You can ‘share a glass’ with some famous faces, such as former All Black Murray Mexted, and learn from industry gurus including Master of Wine Stephen Wong.

There are fewer than 382 Masters of Wine in the world, and only 12 live in New Zealand. Stephen embarked on the Master of Wine course while working as a sommelier in Wellington, Queenstown and Singapore. He gained the gruellingly difficult qualification in March 2016. It was nine years of study, but ‘worth every step’.

Today, Stephen runs Wine Sentience, Wellington’s dedicated wine education hub and is bringing two members of Wine Sentience (himself and Californian sommelier Caitlin Perlman) to the Winetopia Masterclass programme. Stephen asks which variety New Zealand does better at ‘Battle Royal: Pinot VS Syrah’, and brings his knowledge to ‘The Passion of Chard’, a tasting to demonstrate why this 90’s grape is stripping off its boyband image and making a come-back globally. At ‘Varietal Underground’ he explores some exciting new varieties, chic new styles and grapes to watch in the ever-evolving wine scene. Caitlin digs into her past as a cheesemonger to present a Cheese and Wine masterclass too. Stephen professes that, ‘our usual audience are trade and industry, so we relish bringing our classes to Winetopia, as it puts our unique brand of accessible, expert education in front of the wine-loving Wellington public.’

Winetopia presented by Singapore Airlines runs 12-13 July at TSB Bank Arena. Admission is from $42 with three sessions; Friday 5:00pm – 8:30pm, Saturday 12:00pm – 3:30pm and 4:30pm – 8:00pm. Admission includes $10 of tasting tokens, a Spiegelau glass to take home (valued at $20) and a free three-month trial to The Real Review website.

Visit for tickets and further information. Or keep reading to find out how to win a double pass.


We have a double pass to either session one or two of Winetopia presented by Singapore Airlines.

This competition is now closed. Congratulations to the winner!

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