Organiser Diana Wilkins at the Wine and Food festival. The event has been cancelled following the economic downturn due to Covid-19. Photo: Supplied.

Wine and Food Festival cancelled


Nelson’s Wine and Food festival has officially been cancelled for 2021.

Organisers announced last week that the festival, originally planned for February 2021, will not be going ahead. The event is currently being rescheduled for February 2022.

Organiser Cynthia Martin says that it was not practical for the festival to go ahead next year.

“Given the economic downturn, it was clear to us that it was not economically feasible to host [the festival] at the scale and standard to which we have built this event.”

Co-organiser Diana Wilkins says that while she’s disappointed, cancelling the event was the right call.

“It came down to the fact that we need support for sponsors, and those companies are feeling the pressure, and a couple of them weren’t able to help out this time,” she says.

“We didn’t want to put stress or pressure on people at this time.”

Diana says the call was made early last week, and the events since then have proven how uncertain the future is.

“I feel that we have made the right call,” she says.

This isn’t the first time that the event has faced uncertainty.

Drought and fire risk prevented the festival from going ahead in 2019, following the Pigeon Valley forest fires.

The event also faced setbacks after it had to change venues, moving from Middle Earth Vineyards in Brightwater to the A&P showgrounds on Lower Queen Street.

“We’ll all be working hard for the following year, we want to put together a big, fantastic 2022 event. We’ve already booked the showgrounds, and we will start work next year,” she says.