Makings of the great First Light Wine and Food Gisborne

Since 1999, Gisborne has hosted an annual Wine and Food Festival in the land of the first light – backed by a thriving community of food and wine growers.

Year after year, this preeminent gathering has brought thousands of locals and visitors alike from all across New Zealand to celebrate the upcoming summer season over Labour Weekend.

This year’s First Light Wine and Food Gisborne event is celebrating its three-year anniversary as a much-loved festival showcasing the superb flavours of Tairāwhiti. Three different vineyards with three unique food experiences on offer, live music as well as 14 different wine varietals and award-winning wines – it’s the best of Tairāwhiti on the menu.

It’s wining and dining amongst the vineyards, under the beautiful Gisborne sun, in the most picturesque settings between coast and country – you’ll be swept away to a world where fantastic food, excellent wines and music that makes your soul sing is flowing.

Gather your friends and family to celebrate old traditions and make new ones together at First Light Wine and Food Gisborne – the perfect way to experience and enjoy the rich harvest of this region’s bounty.

Book your tickets today on Eventfinda or pop in to the Gisborne i-SITE Visitor Centre.


What and When?

First Light Wine and Food Festival

Labour Weekend, Sunday, 27 October 2019

12:00pm – 7:00pm


Your First Light Wine and Food schedule at a glance

11.30am - Buses begin to depart from the Gisborne i-Site (209 Grey St)

12.00pm - Venues open

2.00pm - Buses start transferring between the three venues

2.30pm - Last bus from Gisborne i-Site to the venues

5.00pm - First bus back to the Gisborne i-Site

5.30pm - Last bus between venues

6.30pm - Last drinks

7.00pm - Bars close

7.30pm - Last bus back to the Gisborne i-Site


Who and Where?

Smokehouse Cuisine at Matawhero Wines

Smokehouse Cuisine brings you unforgettable food with flavour. With a menu that includes smoked meats, sandwiches and salads as well as a unique sweet treat there is something for everyone and will sustain you throughout your festival experience.

Did you know?

The Matawhero journey started with two New Zealand wine pioneers from the 1960s. Today the story continues around the drive and determination of Kirsten and Richard Searle, who have continued to develop the iconic winery and share the distinctive wine styles of the Gisborne region.

Matawhero Wines

189 Riverpoint Road


Flagship Eatery at TW Wines

Flagship Cafe is based in central Gisborne and specialises in good food, good coffee and good vibes. This is why they pair so well with TW Wines, they produce great food items that guarantee you a great afternoon of wine and food.

Did you know?

Paul Tietjen and Geordie Witters began the TW business in 1998. Their wines epitomise what the world has come to expect of New Zealand wine – power, complexity, elegance and excellent cellaring potential. TW Wines are grown and hand-crafted along The Golden Slope, Gisborne’s very own Côte d’Or…Gisborne is well known as New Zealand’s Chardonnay Capital and this narrow, five-kilometre strip from Ormond to Hexton, has given rise to most of Gisborne’s Gold Medal winning Chardonnays.

TW Wines

1121 Back Ormond Road



Rika Cuisine at Bridge Estate

Rika is a small, talented crew of passionate chefs that provide food catering services around Turanganui-a-kiwa. Featuring delicious, flavoursome meals with a taste of Gisborne, you will be sure to enjoy your wine and food experience.

Did you know?

Bridge Estate is aptly located over the Waipaoa Bridge at the ‘Entrance to Gisborne’. Formally the site of the ‘Old Bridge Hotel’ are the unique character buildings that define the Bridge Estates quest for offering memorable and enjoyable hospitality. The relocated stables and shearers quarters have been extensively renovated by the Fergus Family to create a typical Gisborne relaxed atmosphere whilst sharing drinks and platters with friends, family or work colleagues.

Bridge Estate
16 Riverpoint Road

Find things to see and do

I am looking for