Reported here first

Two months ago I photographed and questioned the wine trail sign that has appeared on Oriental Parade … and today I’ve finally found out where they’re pointing via an article on!

Wine trail to nowhere
The Dominion Post | Thursday, 31 January 2008

Drinkers may think they are pie-eyed after the appearance of street signs which could be interpreted to mean that wineries have opened in Wellington.

The Classic New Zealand Wine Trail signs direct motorists between Wellington airport and the Interisland ferry terminal.

The route snakes along Aotea and Waterloo quays, Cable and Wakefield streets, Oriental and Evans Bay parades and Cobham Drive – roads not within cooee of a vineyard or winery.

But Wellington makes up only a small part of the 380-kilometre wine trail – a self-driving route that takes in the wine regions of Hawke’s Bay, Tararua, Wairarapa and Marlborough.

When Miramar resident Ranui Calman saw the wine trail sign on Oriental Pde she was left scratching her head because as well as pointing to Martinborough it was on the side of the road heading to the airport.

“They were pointing the wrong way,” she said.

“There needs to be more information on them. Otherwise people are going to be driving around looking for wineries that don’t exist.”

The wine trail is supported by Positively Wellington Tourism and even its chief executive, Tim Cossar, admits the signs could be confusing.

“I can understand that some people would expect that they might see a vineyard down the road, and get confused.

“But the signs are just part of our commitment to the trail as opposed to saying there is a vineyard around the corner.”

The trail is heavily promoted overseas and Mr Cossar said tourists who had bought into the concept would understand that the signs are directional only. If the signs had simply directed drivers to the motorway, and not along the city’s waterfront, then Mr Cossar said he would have failed to show Wellington as a tourist destination.

The first Wellington wine trail sign appeared in November. The signs were funded through a $24,000 government grant to the NZ Wine Trail organisation.


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