September 1, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier

Te Pae Christchurch will host an anticipated 500 wine experts in 2026 following New Zealand’s successful bid to deliver the International Cool Climate Wine Symposium (ICCWS) for the third time.

The winning bid was led by the New Zealand Society for Viticulture and Oenology (NZSVO), which was also behind the two previous winning bids.

“We are beyond excited to host a third ICCWS,” said NZSVO chair Jeff Sinnott.

“New Zealand has grown so much since we last hosted and this experience puts us in a unique position to create an immersive and engaging event.

“There are some very exciting research projects and industry trials happening at the moment and we hope to bring them to light in four years’ time.”

The event is expected to inject NZ$1.1 million into the New Zealand economy and will include pre and post touring options of New Zealand’s wine growing regions.

“We have partnered with Tourism New Zealand and NZ Winegrowers to offer delegates a mix of experience packages for the shoulder dates of our conference,” said Sinnott.

“We have such a beautiful country and diverse range of wine growing regions. It would be a disservice not to provide visiting delegates with the opportunity to experience New Zealand beyond the event’s four walls.”

The conference, which explores all phases of the cool climate wine-making process from the vine to the glass of the wine bottle, will focus on innovation when it takes place in Christchurch in 2026, looking at the technology advances as well as sustainability and research developments across the wine industry.

The bid was supported by two universities, two research institutes, Tourism New Zealand’s business events team, ChristchurchNZ and the convention centre itself.

“This event is where international research and business partnerships in one of our leading export sectors can literally begin over a glass of wine,” said Tourism New Zealand’s GM of New Zealand and business events, Bjoern Spreitzer.

“We’re excited to welcome ICCWS back to New Zealand and the high-quality visitors who will attend it.

“The conference will provide positive benefits to the sector, the tourism industry and the country.”

ChristchurchNZ’s head of business events Megan Crum has the knowledge sharing potential of the event top of mind.

“ICCWS 2026 will be a chance to share our innovative practices and knowledge, and in turn learn from the hundreds of international wine experts who will be visiting Christchurch.”

One of the bid supporters, Lincoln University, outside Christchurch, created the first cool climate wine production programme in the English-speaking world.