Symposium Tickets

Tickets available now

Taking place on October 5th and 6th in the beautiful Te Matau-a-Māui Hawke’s Bay, the symposium will be held at the recently refurbished Toitoi: Hawke’s Bay Arts and Event Centre in Hastings. Experience an interactive format featuring keynote speakers, panel discussions, and wine tastings throughout the symposium. Curated tastings will cover over 50 wines to assess the state of New Zealand Chardonnay and offer an international benchmarking context.

To cater to various preferences and availability, the Aotearoa New Zealand Chardonnay Symposium offers flexible ticket options.

Please note that the symposium is restricted to people aged 18 and older.

Day 1:
NZSVO Technical Chardonnay Workshop, Thursday 5th October 8:30am – 5:00pm

Day 2:
An International Perspective on New Zealand Chardonnay, Friday 6th October 8:30am – 4:30pm


Day One

The NZSVO Technical Workshop, featuring an impressive lineup of guests. Returning speaker Emma Jenkins MW will be joined by esteemed academics Dr. Tracey Siebert of the Australian Wine Research Institute and Dr. Rebecca Deed of Auckland University, as they delve into the science behind the intriguing “Struck Match” characteristic. Renowned winemakers, and former colleagues at Giant Steps in the Yarra Valley, Steve Flamsteed and Julian Grounds will share their insights from their extensive experience with Chardonnay across Australasia. 

Day Two

An international perspective on Chardonnay. Looking to set the context for fine Chardonnay globally and interrogate the place of Aotearoa’s wines, Elizabeth Kelly MW will lead a benchmarking tasting and give a British wine buyer’s view of the competitive retail market. Wine Enthusiast’s Christina Pickard will offer a wine writer’s outlook, exploring the stories that resonate with consumers and sharing her insights into the American market. Steve Flamsteed will return to present a case study on the evolution of Australian Chardonnay, drawing from his instrumental role in guiding its development.

Associated Events

Available to all


Alongside the symposium are our two associated events where we welcome symposium attendees and the wider community alike to join us. These are ticketed separately and are open to all, symposium attendance is not a pre-requisite.

The first is a light-hearted but educational forum with Australian winemaking legend Steve Flamsteed hosted at Brave Brewing Co. Starting bright and early at 7:30am, you’ll head to work fortified with coffee, croissants, and a lick of chardonnay.

On Thursday evening, we invite you to let down your hair a little and join us for the Great Chardonnay Celebration. A festive environment will be fostered with canapes, chords, conversations, and of course plenty of Chardonnay!

Please note that these events are restricted to people aged 18 and older.

Coffee Croissants and Chardonnay with Steve Flamsteed, Brave Brewing Co. Wednesday 4th October 7:30am – 9:30am (SOLD OUT)

The Great Chardonnay Celebration, The Opera House Stage @ Toi Toi. Thursday 5th October 5:00pm – 7:00pm

Speaker spotlight

Steve Flamsteed

Join Steve at the Symposium and the Coffee Croissants and Chardonnay associated event.

Following a first career in food working as a chef and training in France as a cheesemaker, Steve has spent 30 years winemaking and has lead the famed Giant Steps in the Yarra Valley since 2003. A Len Evans Scholar, Steve is an experienced wine show judge across regional and national shows. In 2016 he was awarded the Australian Gourmet Traveller Magazine Winemaker of the Year award and in2019 was announced as Wine Communicators Victorian Legend of the Vine. In 2022 Steve joined Wine Network in Australia as a Senior Consultant and Director. Across his work, he has been involved in the progression and evolution of the Modern Australian Chardonnay and thus is well-placed to share insights on the journey towards New Zealand becoming one of the greatest Chardonnay producers in the world.

“I am really excited to be part of the Aotearoa Chardonnay Symposium. I have a deep respect and love for your country and I have always felt that there is the potential for New Zealand to become one of the greatest Chardonnay producers in the world. I’ve been asked to present on the evolution of Modern Australian Chardonnay and I feel like we have a bunch of ideas to share from across the ditch.”

Speaker spotlight

Christina Pickard

Hear a wine writer’s outlook on Day Two, exploring stories that resonate with consumers and insights into the American market.

Christina has been telling wine stories for nearly 15 years, first from her former home in London, England, then from her second former home in Perth, Australia, and now in her current home in New York’s Hudson Valley. She has written for publications around the globe including Decanter, Gourmet Traveller Wine, James Halliday’s Wine Companion, and Food & Wine. Christina is currently Wine Enthusiast magazine’s Writer at Large, covering the wines of Australia, New Zealand, New York and Great Britain. She tastes and reviews over 1500 wines per year from these regions. As a presenter and educator, Christina was the co-host of one of wine’s first podcasts, The Crush. She was a regular television and live presenter in the UK, and the founder of School of Wine in Western Australia.

“Chardonnay that strikes that delicate balance between power and elegance, lightness and darkness, site expression and winemaker expression, well, there is no wine more gorgeous in all the world. It’s a variety that, as a wine professional, I love to write about. And it’s one, as a consumer, that I love to drink. So, I’m thrilled to be taking part in the very first Aotearoa Chardonnay Symposium; to get to know more of the nation’s passionate Chard producers; and to shine a spotlight on the breadth and quality of Chardonnay across New Zealand.”

Speaker spotlight

Emma Jenkins MW

A returning speaker to the NZSVO, Emma is set to evoke enthusiastic conversation around the ever evolving topic of Chardonnay.

Emma Jenkins MW abandoned her University of Otago science training for a more sociable career in wine. She’s worked in fine wine retail, holds a diploma in winemaking and viticulture, and in 2011 became New Zealand’s ninth Master of Wine. Emma is co-editor of The Independent Wine Monthly alongside Jane Skilton, MW, and writes on a freelance basis for a number of trade and general publications. She also provides consultancy services to a range of industry and corporate entities. In addition, Emma is the Master of Wine Research Paper Chair, teaches WSET courses on occasion and continues to hone her skills judging wine both at local and international competitions. In her spare time, Emma chases children and animals around a large, overgrown garden. She is very much enjoying traveling again.

“I am thrilled to be joining many friends and colleagues at the Aotearoa Chardonnay Symposium. It’s an exciting program and I am looking forward to learning a lot. I have long loved chardonnay, and am increasingly impressed with the styles and wines being made in New Zealand. The Symposium will be a great opportunity to discuss these, to debate chardonnay from an international perspective, as well as to taste some fantastic wines.”