Astronomy tours, a blind tasting battle, heli wine tasting and release of a new vintage, produced by Queenstown’s godfather of wine, all feature in this year’s Kinross Harvest Celebration.

Starting yesterday and running till June 25, the event’s being held in and around Gibbston, featuring a range of events to celebrate the end of this year’s harvest.

While paying homage to the region’s world-class wine industry, the three weeks of events also provide locals and visitors a chance to enjoy some fun and informative tastings and vino-related activities.

Included in the programme is the release of Alan Brady and Brian Shaw’s Wild Irishman 2022 vintage, on Saturday, June 17, with options to attend a tasting, or tasting and dinner, which will include an unparalleled insight into Central Otago winegrowing, Irish humour and some epic banter from some of the wine industry’s most-loved characters.

Astrophysicist Professor Brian Boyle, who runs Gibbston’s Antimony Vineyard and Observatory, will be running clear and cloudy option astronomy tours — given the area’s a Grade 2 Dark Sky region, viewers will see more than they can in 99% of the world, and on June 25 wineries from across the area will put up some of their latest and greatest in a blind tasting battle.

Also planned is a Coal Pit heli wine tasting experience, hosted by Over The Top helicopters, in a private alpine retreat, featuring a three-course gourmet lunch and private tasting with Coal Pit’s winemaker Anika Willner.

Kinross is also offering special staycation packages.

Its chief executive Nicky Sygrove says the Harvest Celebration aims to showcase the best the region has to offer.

‘‘It has something for everyone to enjoy, whether you’re an avid collector or an amateur wine enthusiast.

‘‘It’s an occasion where there is a wonderful collision of local community and wider New Zealand wine lovers.

‘‘If you come along you’ll find yourself sitting wedged between some of NZ’s most highly-awarded winemakers and local characters, with plenty of lively banter and debate.’’

For more details, or to book tickets, visit

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