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Uncorking Excellence

UNCORKING EXCELLENCE

A new caretaker is picking up the corkscrew at Hokowhitu's iconic Village Wine Trader. Vanessa Orringe has been part of the industry for over a decade, making a name for herself at Albert Street Liquorland, and is now eager to make her mark on what is one of the most highly regarded providers of boutique wine to the city and region. We sat down with Vanessa to chat all things booze and boujee.

Taking on the "mecca of wine" in the city isn't something that happens overnight. In fact it took two years from the time Vanessa shook hands with the original wine trader himself, Duncan Win, over a coffee securing the future of Village Wines, to her stepping through the door as the new owner in April this year. But it has been a journey worth the wait and preparation.

It's a leap that surprised absolutely no one that knows her, as Vanessa has spent the past 12 years honing her skills at one of a handful boutique Liquorlands in the country. Thanks to numerous national and international trips, expos, and time with the industry experts from across the globe, Vanessa has refined her palette and progressed quickly to be well placed to provide expert advice to anyone that seeks it.

Vine and dine in Palmy

It's a leap that surprised absolutely no one that knows her, as Vanessa has spent the past 12 years honing her skills at one of a handful boutique Liquorlands in the country. Thanks to numerous national and international trips, expos, and time with the industry experts from across the globe, Vanessa has refined her palette and progressed quickly to be well placed to provide expert advice to anyone that seeks it.

The city's vibrant food scene further complements its status as a haven for vino lovers and enthusiasts of luxury beverages, Local eateries, bistros, and wine bars showcase the region's bounty, pairing exceptional wines with delicious dishes crafted from fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

Wine trader P2766844April 24, 2024

The Future's Full to the Brim

Going forward Vanessa is hoping to grow her customer base through events and local collabs, particularly looking to reach a younger generation as they come of age to appreciate the beauty of good wine. Alongside Matt, who worked with Duncan for 11 years, Vanessa hopes they will be a part of their 'a-ha' moments as they understand what they like and what they love and can be there to help with their celebrations, special occasions or for when they want to enjoy a crisp glass of pinot grigio on a Tuesday night - just because they can! And with the current vibrant wine scene in Palmerston North, she is confident they will be.

Wine trader P2766673April 24, 2024

More than home to great wine, Village Wines is also a destination for whiskey lovers and spirit enthusiasts alike. With whiskey clubs popping up throughout the city, and Palmerston North locals avid attenders of events celebrating drinks and food of all varieties, it is clear that Village Wine is filling a gap that we would otherwise be looking online or travelling for - with the added bonus of supporting a locally owned boutique business. As Vanessa puts it, trends come and go within the industry, a bit like fashion, experimenting with new flavours and spirits is always part of the gig, but it is the tried and true classics that will stand the test of time and that's the style and service Village Wines offers.

Although Vanessa is full to the brim with trusted advice, she tells us it's the listening that she is most looking forward to. "Every bottle has a story that needs to be told, and while I am looking forward to doing the wine justice, I am also looking forward to hearing from our customers. New ideas? Suggestions? Opportunities to collaborate? I'm all ears!"

QUICK FIRE WITH VANESSA

We asked Vanessa for her hot take on current wine trends and what she recommends for those looking to indulge in a glass or two. Here’s what she had to say: 

Favourite tipple? And why?  

Bubbles, because there's always something to celebrate and it goes with just about everything. 

Best buy on a budget?  

Buy the best you can afford, that's my philosophy in life. 

Most surprising pour?  

All the lesser-known varietals - Albarino, Fiano, Carmenere and the list goes on - you tend to have more of an open mind and it's a thrill when you find a new favourite. 

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