If the Italians and Spaniards can get away with having wine fountains, why can’t we?
And where better to have one than the wine capital of New Zealand.
The idea of a wine fountain in the centre of Blenheim was mooted at a business meeting last week.
Sure, it would have a ‘tonne’ of legal issues and “productivity in Blenheim would go down by 200 per cent”, but still, imagine.
Blenheim Business Association chairman Anthony Mullen said the fountain – presumably spouting the region’s famous sauvignon blanc – was a “nuts” idea, but it could help promote Marlborough as a world-class wine destination.
“The fountain would teach visitors about the region and give them something else to do in the town, where they would then spend their money,” Mullen said.
The idea came up in talks about the Marlborough Mile, a new project to take tourists on a walking tour of Blenheim’s town centre.
The fountain was suggested for Bythell Place, and could be triggered to spout wine during certain hours of the day.
“I image that people would just walk up to it and fill their water bottles with wine,” Mullen said.
“Blenheim has a hard enough time running alfresco dining, so in terms of liquor licensing, a wine fountain would be out of the question,” he said.
“Above that, a wine fountain isn’t something that caters for all age groups.
“We need features on the Marlborough Mile that everyone can enjoy, from the young right up to the old.”
Mullen wasn’t sure if Marlborough’s wine industry would approve of a wine fountain, he said.
“We’re trying to brand the region as having a reputable wine industry, and the fountain would not support this.”
But wine fountains worked fine in other famous wine regions, including the red wine fountain in Caldari di Ortona, Italy, and the red wine fountain in Irache, Spain.
Other “less crazier” ideas for the Marlborough Mile included revamped buildings that looked as if planes had crashed into them, to highlight Marlborough’s history of aviation.
A huge fish tank near the town’s swimming pools was also discussed.
“No-one wants to look at boring archive photos,” Mullen said. “People want features that are engaging and interactive, and these ideas are just that.”
Association member Mark Davis said at the CBD Summit last week the trail would help give Blenheim an identity.
“It would showcase our story by connecting local industries in town,” Davis said.
Events could be run off the back of the Marlborough Mile, such as a “fun run on the Marlborough Mile”, Davis said.