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Gourmand Best Book Awards

Dear Friends,

I have very exciting news to share as my New Zealand Wine Guide has won the Gourmand World Book Award’s Best in the World title for Wine and Tourism. The Gourmand World Book Awards are the inspiration of Edouard Cointreau (Cointreau family and Cordon Bleu) and this year celebrate their 20th anniversary.

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It’s a special thrill to win this award and to enjoy the industry recognition that goes along with such a prestigious title. But of more importance is that the award helps shine the light on New Zealand as a key wine tourism destination. There are enormous opportunities in this tourism niche that need to be explored and developed in the next few years.

Celia Hay NZ Wine Guide launch3

Each year, at the New Zealand School of Food and Wine, we attract more and more international visitors who want to explore our wine culture and in turn become captivated by the bright fruit aromas of our wines.

The New Zealand Wine Guide offers a comprehensive review of the spectacular growth of New Zealand’s wine industry. It focuses on wine regions, using a selection of local maps, explanation of grape varieties and winemaking processes with diagrams and breath-taking photographs from well-respected winemaker/photographer, Kevin Judd. You can purchase this book from here.

In 2015, the Awards were held in Yantai, located in Shandong province, China. Bounded by the Yellow Sea, Shandong is China’s leading grape growing region with significant Chinese Government and international investment in vineyards and winemaking facilities. The photo above is of Chateau Changyu that we visited with British wine writer, Keith Grainger.

Gourmand WallCecilia (Ceci) Lee, who accompanied me was able to facilitate meetings with Ludong and BinZhou Medical Universities who have both started wine-making programmes in the last 12 months and are interested in the Chinese version of my book.

We also visited my former student Roger Zhou in Xiamen where I taught (and he translated) a food and wine pairing seminar for 50 people. This involved me demonstrating a dish of New Zealand Greenshell mussels that was then replicated by my students in their tables of 10. Lot of laughs with wines from another former student Cindy Guan who represents Framingham and Unison as well as Villa Maria and Hugel from Alsace.

On Sunday, we offered an introduction to wine programme with 30 participants. This included a sensory evaluation and the standout was the Whittaker's L&P milk chocolate that exploded in every mouth. The highlights of the blind tastings were Hugel Gewurztraminer and Ata Rangi 'Crimson' Pinot Noir. I really appreciate the support of these estates and especially Summergate, a major wine distributor in China.

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Celia Hay

Celia is a qualified chef and holds the WSET (London) Diploma of Wine. She has a Bachelor of Arts in History, Master of Education (Distinction) and MBA Master of Business Administration from the University of Canterbury.

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The School

Founded by Celia Hay, the New Zealand School of Food and Wine opened its first campus in Christchurch in 1995.

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