Sommit New Zealand - Nelson & Central Otago


Stephen wong mw and i have the PRIVILEGE OF hosting sommeliers from nine different COUNTRIES AND showing them some of the finest nz wine

Sommit 2018 was held as two separate events, with NZ Winegrowers hosting groups of 18 International Sommeliers at events throughout NZ's wine regions.

The first formal event in February was hosted by the winemakers of Nelson with the actual Sommit held at Neudorf Wines in the Upper Moutere - the arrival of cyclone Gita meant a fast move from the planned venue, and we are very grateful to our pals at Neudorf for their fantastic efforts on our behalf. 

The second event, held a month later in Central Otago was held at Rippon Hall. Both events featured wines from around New Zealand - flights comparing new and older rieslings;  emerging grape varieties (including Gruner Veltliner, Albarino, Gamay, Verdelho); a comprehensive tasting of different vintages of Pinot Noir from all over New Zealand; Syrahs from Hawkes Bay, Waiheke and Marlborough; Orange and Natural Wines (these were served with lunch); and emerging Sauvignon Blanc styles.

Although the visiting Somms spend two weeks being hosted around NZ, the actual Sommit (Sommelier Summit) is a closed event which allows for open discussions on the wines presented and tasted, in addition to our particular market and the challenges we face as gatekeepers to the wine drinking public.

This is the third year for the Sommit events - it has become a highlight on many calendars, including mine. On my travels I am often approached for details, and how to submit an application to attend. I feel it is one of the most valuable tools for getting our fine wines in front of the people actually responsible for writing and managing winelists around the world. 

Cameron Douglas