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Photo above: Pico Island Vineyards - Unesco World Heritage site on Pico Island, Azores (Portugal), North Atlantic.

Volcanic wines are hot, literally. It’s no secret that Mount Etna in Sicily, the Canary Islands and the Yamanashi region near Mount Fuji are all home to some of the world’s most diverse and exciting wines, which is why one of the leading authorities on volcanic wines is coming to New Zealand to host tastings on Saturday 28 July and Sunday 29 July.

Master Sommelier John Szabo will lead two tastings on volcanic wines at the New Zealand School of Food & Wine’s annual W&F Celebration.

He was the first Canadian to add the letters MS Master Sommelier to his name in 2004, and has since written Volcanic Wines, Salt Grit and Power – a book about volcanic wine regions.

Auckland is a fitting city to host John Szabo since the greater Auckland region’s volcanic field has at least 52 volcanoes. The city’s scoria cones range from 10 to 120 meters in height, contributing an unexplored aspect to Auckland’s wine terroir.

“The question is how we can enhance the reputations of wines grown in the Auckland region, given most of this region’s wineries are on volcanically derived sedimentary rock,” says Celia Hay of the New Zealand School of Food & Wine and chair of the New Zealand Sommeliers and Wine Professionals.

John Szabo will speak on Saturday 27 July and Sunday 28 July in Auckland City.

Find out more about John's tastings in New Zealand.

Read Celia's post about the Auckland Wine of Origin tasting here.