By Annette Shailer in Wellington

How else to kick off 2011 for NILWA, than with a trip over the ditch, to the land of the long white cloud, New Zealand.

After a busy festive season, the first tour of the year commenced yesterday (Feb 15) in Wellington, with delegates travelling from all corners of Australia for the 2011 NILWA New Zealand Tour of Marlborough.

More than 40 delegates checked into the Novotel Wellington, where NILWA managing director Martin O’Mara welcomed representatives from each of NILWA’s members, business partners and special guests.

For the first night the group was treated to a beer tasting and welcome dinner at Mac’s Brew Bar and Restaurant.

Mac’s Brewery ambassador Kurt Gross led the informative tasting, which showcased their products; Mac’s Gold, Great White, Sassy Red, Black Mac and Hop Rocker.

“It is no coincidence that Julia Gillard was in Wellington today when NILWA visited Mac’s Brew Bar and Restaurant and we were sampling Sassy Red by Mac’s,” said NILWA managing director, Martin O’Mara .

After the tasting, delegates moved downstairs to the restaurant for a fantastic meal matched with Mac’s Brewery beers and local wines.

The group heads to Picton and then onto Blenheim today for a tour of the Giesen Winery, followed by a tasting at Villa Maria Winery.

The group will finish the day at the Wither Hills Winery for a tour and dinner.

The Shout Team

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