Roamers are in for a treat this weekend, as Roam the Valley Wine and Food Festival pairs the best of the region’s grapes with unmissable entertainment.

From the masterminds at Central Otago Winegrowers Association, this Saturday’s festival, at Gibbston’s Cargo Cellar Door, also features musical treats catering to a broad range of tastes.

Roam Central event manager Jo Brown says she’s thrilled to secure the likes of country-pop artist Jackie Bristow and jazz band Nairobi Trio.

Also joining them is Invercargill’s Little Green Men and Queenstown saxophone-DJ duo Saxy Lady and The Postman, aka Sarah Lyttle and Sean Caird.

The pair cook up sounds of jazz and electronic house music – Lyttle simply describes the result as “very funky”.

She’s played saxophone for over 30 years and says taking the leap to collaborate with Caird was a huge step.

“We’d been talking about it for four years before one day I just decided to go for it,” she admits.

Saxy Lady and The Postman played their first gig together last August, and while it’s still fresh, it seems to be going well.

They’ve performed on Coronet Peak, are hitting Cargo for Roam, and have recently been asked to do more private performances through Queenstown’s favourite marketing – word of mouth.

Lyttle and Caird don’t often meet in person, with family and life the priorities, but still manage to communicate their setlist thoughts over the phone, before practising separately and going with the flow on the night.

“It’s very chill.”

She says attendees at the wine and food festival can expect “a unique combination of uplifting and groovy tunes” and reckons the jazz/house music mix diversifies the crowd.

Lyttle’s also stoked to see more DJs performing with live instruments, though it’s just starting to gather steam in New Zealand, unlike overseas where it’s more commonplace.

The pair say they’re “delighted to be playing a new event like Roam and feel humbled and excited to be playing alongside some incredibly talented musicians”.

Roam the Valley’s part of the four-day Roam Central, a celebration of Central Otago’s wine and food.

Running from this Thursday to Sunday, it also includes ‘Roam Around Town’, where the region’s best winemakers meet the best restaurants to provide curated four-course wine and food menus, and ‘Roam the Vines’, a series of bunches held amongst, as the name suggests, vines across the area.

Roam the Valley, Saturday, January 28, Cargo Cellar Door, Gibbston. Tickets $49, plus booking fee, via Eventbrite. Transport add-on available from Queenstown, Alexandra, Cromwell and Wānaka

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