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New Zealand Wine Industry Toasts International Symposium Win

NZ vineyard by Alistair Guthrie

New Zealand has won the International Cool Climate Wine Symposium (ICCWS) for 2026, with an estimated 500 wine specialists from around the world expected to meet in Christchurch.

The globally renowned conference will take place at Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre and include pre and post touring options of the country’s world-class wine-growing regions, delivering an estimated $1.1m to New Zealand’s economy.

The ICCWS covers all aspects of cool climate winemaking, from vine to glass to consumer, and provides delegates with a platform to discuss the latest research, exchange information and network with other wine producers, and to taste some spectacular examples of the wines from the host country.

Tourism New Zealand General Manager New Zealand and Business Events Bjoern Spreitzer says: “This event is where international research and business partnerships in one of our leading export sectors can literally begin over a glass of wine. We’re excited to welcome ICCWS back to New Zealand and the high-quality visitors who will attend it.

The conference will provide positive benefits to the sector, the tourism industry and the country.

Bjoern Spreitzer, General Manager New Zealand, Tourism New Zealand

Leading representatives from New Zealand’s grape and wine industries will deliver a conference themed around ‘Pure Innovation’, sharing cutting-edge technology and the latest research and sustainability initiatives in the wine industry.

The bid was led by the New Zealand Society for Viticulture and Oenology (NZSVO), which, having successfully hosted ICCWS twice previously, sees its winning bid as confirmation of the world-wide interest in New Zealand wine.

NZSVO chair Jeff Sinnott says: “We are beyond excited to host a third ICCWS. New Zealand has grown so much since we last hosted and this experience puts us in a unique position to create an immersive and engaging event.

There are some very exciting research projects and industry trials happening at the moment and we hope to bring them to light in four years’ time.

Jeff Sinnott, Chari, NZSVO

The bid was supported by Plant and Food, Bragato Research Institute, Lincoln University and Auckland University, as well as Tourism New Zealand’s Business Events team, ChristchurchNZ, and Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre.

ChristchurchNZ Head of Business Events Megan Crum says the Canterbury wine region surrounding Ōtautahi Christchurch is a rising star in cool climate wine production, and acclaimed for its Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and fine aromatic wines.

Lincoln University, outside Christchurch, created the first cool climate wine production programme in the English-speaking world, and offers one of New Zealand’s top viticulture degree programmes.

Crum says: “ICCWS 2026 will be a chance to share our innovative practices and knowledge, and in turn learn from the hundreds of international wine experts who will be visiting Christchurch.”

Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre General Manager Ross Steele adds: “We’re delighted to see this event come to Christchurch. Our region is home to an amazing array of local wine options, including some fantastic cool climate varieties, which we’re proud to showcase.”

Christchurch also offers visiting delegates a vibrant city experience and a launching point to explore the scenic South Island and beyond.

Sinnott adds: “We have partnered with Tourism New Zealand and NZ Winegrowers to offer delegates a mix of experience packages for the shoulder dates of our conference.

“We have such a beautiful country and diverse range of wine growing regions. It would be a disservice not to provide visiting delegates with the opportunity to experience New Zealand beyond the event’s four walls.”

To view the NZSVO’s winning pitch video, click here.

For more information on holding an international conference in New Zealand, visit businessevents.newzealand.com

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