In all corners of Central Otago restaurants, cafés, bars, cellar doors and venues have come together to create a month-long celebration of great food, drink and events.
Central Otago’s annual food and wine celebration Eat.Taste.Central begins on Friday, September 25; Blossom Festival Weekend and runs through until October 26; Labour Weekend.
New for 2020 is the E.T.C. Passport – it lets people know about all the venues and great dishes, drinks, experiences and events on offer, as well as offering up opportunities for rewards and prizes throughout the campaign once a passport is registered.
“Taking the event forward in a year that has created so many challenges for so many – particularly the hospitality sector, growers and producers – has seen us change the event focus. This year it will be about collaborating, celebrating and enjoying the amazing food and wine experiences throughout the district as opposed to the previous judged competition format,” says Tourism Central Otago campaign manager Antz Longman.
“Eat.Taste.Central has always been about coming together and celebrating the richness and quality the Central Otago region has to offer. This year local businesses were asked to share their version of ‘A Central Otago Experience’ whether that is served on a plate, in a glass or through a unique experience. The new passport is designed to encourage people to explore that little bit further, and support the amazing cafés, restaurants, wineries and country hotels.”
There are more than 80 options across Central Otago for people to discover, experience and taste.
“Dishes such as the Sowburn wild berry cheesecake, beef cheek with cauliflower parmesan puree, venison and stout pie, and a 95 Sass’ Cocktail just to name a few,” says Antz.
For those looking for a fun day out with friends, there is a range of events and experiences to tempt.
“There will be a full list of dishes and events online from September 11 including the Central Otago Wild Game Feast, Passionate about Pinot tasting and learning session, a vertical tasting with the winemaker, a beer tapping ceremony, artisan experiences and even a mini beer festival.”
Most of the Eat.Taste.Central events take place over a weekend, so the TCO team encourage people to get a group together and book a couple of nights away for a spring break.
“E.T.C is an opportunity for Central Otago locals and visitors to get out and support and celebrate all the venues who have come together to create such fabulous choices. Challenge yourself, or your friends – see who can collect the most passport stickers, visit the most venues, or attend the most events – there will be opportunities to share your experiences to win prizes.”