Budburst 2018 Natural Wine Festival Coming To Wellington

Naturally delicious wines coming to the Wellington waterfront for Budburst 2018

On Sunday 11 November Wellington will again be home to the country’s only natural wine festival. Housed across the Boatshed and Rowing Club on the Wellington waterfront we will be welcoming natural wine producers from New Zealand and around the world for Budburst 2018.

Budburst brings together the winemaker and the wine lover, alongside delicious kai, live music and a key focus on education. First run in 2016 to a sold-out crowd at PreFab Cafe & Hall, the overwhelmingly positive response and the increase in natural wine production meant for 2018 we needed to find a larger venue. The producers who come along and the wines they show all subscribe to five main principles:

Wine starts in the vineyard: The festival organisers believe that natural wine cannot be made from  conventionally farmed fruit so requires all participating producers to verify that they grow their grapes organically or bio-dynamically.

Let the time and place shine through: In the winery, they ask for minimal intervention, letting the quality of the fruit, site and season speak for themselves. Minimal intervention covers all aspects of the winemaking process so these wines are all vegan, for example.

Naturally delicious: We love delicious, well-made wines. Weird for weird’s sake is not our bag, the wine also has to be good. Natural is the philosophy, quality is the aim.

Always learning, always curious: Education is at the heart of everything they do, the festival is designed to pique your curiosity.

It’s all for the love of wine: Budburst is a not-for-profit festival run by a passionate group of volunteers.

Natural wine is without a singular definition, something that excites and frustrates those who champion these wines. Because the movement of natural wine means different things to different people, Budburst is designed to encourage curiosity, conversation and even to stir up debate. On the whole it is a push to allow for as much as possible to be left up to nature.

“We are not here to preach or convert, rather to allow for people to taste a range of naturally made wines and make up their own mind about what natural means to them,” says Elissa Jordan, Budburst Event Manager.

In addition to natural wines from New Zealand and around the world, Budburst also delivers up delicious local kai from the folks at Egmont Street Eatery, live music organised by the man behind the music of CubaDupa and educational masterclasses coordinated by the team at Wine Sentience and headlined by two Masters of Wine, Jane Skilton, MW and Stephen Wong, MW.

Wine Sentience is also sponsoring the pop-up wine bar that follows their hugely popular SOIF series of wine events designed around pouring selection of single bottles of rare and hard to source wines, often brought to New Zealand in a suitcase.

Budburst will feature New Zealand producers such as Cambridge Road in Martinborough,  alongside European wines from Occhipinti in Sicily and Domaine des Roches Neuves in the Loire Valley, France.

Festival sponsors include Wine Searcher, Wine Sentience and Cult Wine, Garage Project, Antipodes Water and BioGro NZ.

For more information please visit

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