Five of Gibbston’s best wineries

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Once upon a time, not so long ago, conventional wisdom said that the Gibbston region was too cold to grow grapes, let alone produce a good bottle of plonk.

Fast forward four decades, and the so-called “Valley of Wines” is world famous for its Pinot Noir.

Backed by rugged shale mountains, its vineyards are spectacular places to experience year-round – and you don’t have to be a pinot fan to have a good time, either. A variety of red, white, rosé and sparkling wines are on offer, as well as some of the best mulled wines on this side of the equator. Here are five of our favorite cellar doors.

Peregrine produces award-winning wines from grapes grown in <a class=organic vineyards in three sub-regions.” style=”width:100%;display:inline-block”/>

Provided

Peregrine produces award-winning wines from grapes grown in organic vineyards in three sub-regions.

Pilgrim wines

Come for the award-winning architecture, stay for the organic wines typical of the region and know that you are helping to protect some of New Zealand’s rarest native birds.

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Housed in a bunker-style building under a canopy designed to evoke the wing of a peregrine falcon in flight, this family-run estate focuses on the Pinot Noir so well suited to the region, and also offers Pinot Gris, Riesling, Chardonnay , sauvignon, rosé and sparkling wines.

The grapes come from organically grown vineyards in three distinct sub-regions – Bendigo, Pisa and Gibbston – resulting in wines that reflect the different climates and terroirs of each. You can taste a selection in the tasting room and take a stroll through the scents of oak and aging wine in the adjoining barrel room.

Dedicated to conservation as well as environmental sustainability, Peregrine has partnered with the Wingspan Trust to increase the number of kārearea (New Zealand hawk) in central Otago, raising chicks in the cellar before releasing them. in nature. Staff also helped move breeding pairs of tīeke (saddles) to predator-free sanctuaries such as Bauza, Secretary and Chalky Islands and the Orokonui Ecosanctuary. Drink and you will help them help the birds. See: peregrinewines.co.nz

2127 Gibbston Road. Cellar door open Monday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Chard Farm is sandwiched between the mountains and the Kawarau River.

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Chard Farm is sandwiched between the mountains and the Kawarau River.

Swiss chard farm

A rosy-hued Tuscan-style building set on a vine-covered hill above the bright blue Kawarau River, Chard Farm is one of the most picturesque in the area.

Founder Rob Hay first saw the property in 1986 as a failed computer scientist who had just completed a wine-making course in Germany, and managed it as an orchard before the epiphany that saw him recruiting family , friends and perplexed inhabitants to transform it into a full-fledged vineyard.

Believing that the terroir was similar to that of famous European wine regions such as Burgundy, Alsace and Champagne, he set out to refute the idea that Gibbston was better suited for agriculture than for wine production. Proof of this is Pinot Noir, which has gone so well that the estate now has five vineyards in Gibbston and Cromwell.

Specializing in single-vineyard and sub-regional Pinot Noirs, the winery also produces Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Rosé.

More interested in “drinking interesting wines” than in tasting “special” wines, the cellar does not participate in competitions, preferring its beverages to be tasted with family, friends and around the table. Why not go for the cellar door? See: chardfarm.co.nz

RD1, Queenstown. Entrance 100 meters after the AJ Hackett Kawarau Bungy bridge. Cellar door open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Gibbston Valley resort features a winery, restaurant, wood-fired kitchen, cheese shop and deli, as well as a lodge and spa.

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The Gibbston Valley resort features a winery, restaurant, wood-fired kitchen, cheese shop and deli, as well as a lodge and spa.

Gibbston Valley

A delight for oenophiles, the Gibbston area’s oldest commercial vineyard offers many ways to enjoy its award-winning drinks: during a tasting session (perhaps paired with cheeses in Nova Scotia’s largest wine cellar). Zeeland or from the cheese factory and cold cuts on site, with a meal in the restaurant or cooking over a wood fire, or as fuel for cycling to the doors of the neighboring cellar.

Home to the oldest vineyards in the region, the winery’s artisanal wines are made with grapes from its Gibbston and Bendigo vineyards in four different ranges: Gibbston Valley, Singe Vineyard, Gold River and Reserve.

You can determine what you prefer in the cozy cellar door, which also offers platters and light meals, before heading to the wine restaurant where you can enjoy wild rabbit lasagna, a cioppino (fish stew) combining freshly caught fish. , mussels and clams, and a bomb of Alaskan lemon cheesecake with a glass (or bottle) of your favorite drop.

A range of tours are available, some including wine and cheese pairings and restaurant meals, or you can design your own cheese board at the cheese shop.

If you fancy knocking on the cellar doors of several wineries in the area, a good option is to take the Gibbston Valley shuttle bus from Queenstown and rent a hardtail or e-bike from the cellar.

There is so much to do that you might want to spend a night or a few. Conveniently, there’s an on-site lodge with an exclusive wine cellar, cinema room, common area with plush leather sofas placed around a fireplace, and a spa. All the ingredients, in other words, for an ultra relaxing – and luxurious – weekend. See: gibbstonvalley.com

1820 State Highway 6. Cave and Cheesery & Deli open daily 10 am-5pm. Restaurant open every day from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Cellar and cellar tours available every day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Monte Rosa wines

The woolen shed-style tasting room at this family-run estate reflects its heritage: the property was once a ram pen for Kawarau Station.

Rams and rabbits may have eaten his first grape plantations in the 1970s, but luckily he didn’t give up: his unique varietals are a treat, and he also developed a solid reputation for his mulled wine.

Nestled in the vineyards, the cellar door offers tastings and signature wines by the glass and bottle to be enjoyed indoors or on the covered or grassy courtyard.

Fill your stomach with the local cheeses, cold cuts, oak-smoked salmon and dips stacked on the platters and settle in for an afternoon of lazy days. See: mtrosa.co.nz

47 Gibbston Back Road. Tasting room open every day from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Kinross Cottage travel single use only

Chalet Kinross

Kinross Cottage travel single use only

Kinross cabins

Fancy tasting wines from several local wineries without moving a muscle? Visit this 40 acre family owned vineyard and that’s exactly what you can do.

Kinross is the official cellar door to five Central Otago wineries – Coal Pit, Hawkeshead, Kinross, Valli and Wild Irishman – allowing you to sample wines from different sub-regions side by side.

You can opt for a traditional tasting session or embark on a tasting and lunch combo, which will allow you to taste five wines before sitting down in front of a three-course platter accompanied by three different wines. You can also book the ‘Complete Works’ and you will follow a private tasting and gourmet lunch with a tour of the vineyard and a visit to a local winery for a barrel tasting with the winemaker.

You will be well over the limit after all of this, so it would be a good idea to book a stay in one of the cottages nestled among the Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir vines.

Meals can be taken care of at the on-site bistro. Expect dishes made with products from the heritage orchard and local producers. Think pinot gris poached apricot French toast for breakfast, Gibbston goat cheese and root vegetable salad with beetroot pesto for lunch, and smoked scotch fillet with candied kūmara and braised cabbage. with pinot noir for dinner. With the best local drops of course. See: kinross.nz

2300 Gibbston Road. Cellar door open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Bistro open Tuesday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays and Mondays from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Stay Safe: New Zealand is currently subject to restrictions related to Covid-19. Follow the instructions on covid19.govt.nz.


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