At last the weekend arrived. On the Thursday all 854 entries of wine, beer, liqueur and cider were transferred to the Angus Inn after being recorded and logged into “Results“, a programme designed by Brian to produce a complete set of results from the judging of 33 wine, liqueur and cider classes and 12 beer classes which have 39 sub classes spread across the main classes. Each class were grouped on tables ready for the judging the following day.
25 judges from the Amateur Judges Group took most of the day to award 73 Gold, 32 Silver and 210 bronze medals to those worthy of the awards. A loyal band of helpers were on hand to wash glasses and redistribute, empty spittoons, serve lunch, enter results into the computer and repack the entries into boxes by clubs. A full day and everyone did a great job.
In the evening registration of people attending the weekend were welcomed with social drinks with wines and beers made by local members. A tasty supper was served and people had the chance to acquaint themselves with old friends who usually only see each other every two years.
Saturday was fine and warm and 77 people on two buses, which travelled 45 minutes apart, visited Arataki Honey in Havelock North, then on to Godsown Brewery a boutique brewery on SHW50 at Maraekakaho. We all had a wine tasting and an excellent lunch at Unwind Café which is attached to Unison Wines in the Gimblett Gravels. After lunch a visit to WilliamsWarn, a brewing system designed and built by the company owned by two brewers who have worked around the world. The last bus arrived back at the Angus Inn at 4pm.
After a short rest the guests chose tables for dinner and the presentation of certificates and trophies. A representative from each of our major sponsors, WilliamsWarn and Kauri, attended to present their sponsored products. Brian, our president,presented 415 certificates for Gold, Silver and Bronze and 45 medals for Best of Class with the Best of Class recipients receiving sponsored products. The trophies were awarded to Paul Dunsmuir for Best Beer, Gordon Dackers Best Wine, Wally Lawrence Best White Wine, Best Brewer Richard Pettinger, Best Winemaker Wally Lawrence, Best Liqueur Maker Heather Moore. The best Region trophy was won by the Northern Region. Dessert followed and the people mingled and the fellowship continued into the night.
Sunday morning saw the Federation, our governing body, have its biennial meeting where remits were presented and voted on. Other business was dealt with and at the meetings end a farewell bbq was held at midday. Thanks to our hosting club were expressed and people dispersed back to all corners of NZ. The locals did a final cleanup and headed home for a much earned rest.
The Manakau Homebrewers Club have volunteered to hold the next Nationals in 2017.