A SILENT auction of a limited quantity of Totara Reserve is one of the activities planned at the Pohangina Valley Estate’s garden party later this month to raise funds for the regional park after which the wine is named.
Three bottles from each of the red wine’s 2008 and 2009 vintages will go to the bidder with the highest written offer and help lift proceeds towards the ongoing upkeep of the picturesque picnicking and camping spot under the Ruahine Ranges.
The garden party – from 2pm to 5pm on Saturday, March 20, and supported by the Manawatu District Council – is the latest community initiative by Manawatu’s first vineyard to enhance the regional park’s profile and follows the $1000 it raised through the sale of the initial 2008 Totara Reserve vintage.
Pohangina Valley Estate owners, Bronwyn and Nick Dymock, and Fiona McMorran, donated $1 for every bottle sold of the Beaujolais-style summer wine with the money set aside for the planting of totara trees at the park.
The 1000 bottles available for sale proved extremely popular and sold out quickly.
Ms McMorran said only 400 bottles of the 2009 vintage (just released) are available and as a result the vineyard decided to host the garden party as a different form of fund-raising.
“We are hoping to raise a similar amount of money as we did with the earlier venture,” she said, “Let’s hope the weather remains kind and we get good support from the community.”
She said the silent auction should create much interest among wine connoisseurs as both vintages of the Totara Reserve offered their own distinctive flavours.
Public response to the naming of the unique picnic wine, with its local connection, and the sale donation initiative, had been positive, said Ms McMorran, and fitted in well with today’s increasing support for sustainable ventures.
Parks and Reserves Manager, Albert James, said the garden party underlined the vineyard’s ongoing relationship with Totara Reserve and was an ideal way of marketing an excellent product and a popular recreational attraction.
“It highlights the status of Totara Reserve as a regional park,” he said. “It’s a win-win situation for everyone ... and a chance to have a nice party.”
A six-piece jazz band headed by Sue Pugmire and afternoon tea catering by Hester Guy will also feature at the party in the vineyard’s private house gardens at the back of the Valley Road property near Ashhurst.
Tickets are $40 per person and can be purchased through the website or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or at the Feilding Information Centre. Limited tickets are available and there are no gate sales.