A stay at Central Otago’s newest luxury lodge would not be complete without an outstanding wine experience.
And that’s exactly what’s on offer at Gibbston Valley Lodge & Spa, nestled among the vines in the region’s founding winery.
As Central Otago’s pioneering winery, Gibbston Valley has a deep history of winery excellence and land guardianship, reinforced in recent years with its standing as a BioGro certified organic vineyard, and BioGro certified organic winery.
Gibbston Valley Lodge & Spa, featuring 24 villas, a striking central lodge building and separate spa, opens later this month and offers the ultimate in relaxed luxury, fine wine, culinary excellence and 5-star personal service.
Winemaker Christopher Keys says the Lodge & Spa’s Essential Wine Experience is the perfect opportunity for guests to get up close to what the winery team does.
“At the winery, everything is hand-tendered and made, from vine to fruit to wine,” he says.
“By the time each bottle makes it to the table, there are endless stories encapsulated in every glass. People, place and seasons are captured in our wines, so the Essential Wine Experience is a fantastic way to unravel this, bringing our wines, our people, land and story to life.”
The half-day educational experience, exclusive to Lodge guests, winds through the working core of Gibbston Valley for a behind-the-scenes view of its operation. Sights and smells turn into tastes and chats with winemakers and chefs.
Leaving the sunlight behind to enter New Zealand’s largest wine cave, Christopher says there’s a “sensory change” as guests pass into its depths.
“There’s nothing else like it,” he says. “The atmosphere is peaceful and contemplative - just you and hundreds of barrels of Pinot Noir lining the walls.”
Guests then enjoy an entertaining cinema experience with the showing of Bud to Bottle – a short film of the winegrowing process – in the Lodge’s private wine education theatre.
“It’s a visually spectacular piece that perfectly captures the annual cycle of winemaking,” says Christopher. “Our idea is to satisfy those who are curious about the essence of winemaking.”
The film is followed by a tasting session of Gibbston Valley’s premium and Single Vineyard releases, led by an experienced winemaker.
The experience ends as it should, with food, wine and conversation at the at the Lodge Restaurant. Executive Chef Anthony Gradiska and his team will delight in preparing a convivial lunch featuring seasonal produce from the winery’s organic gardens, expertly paired with wines.
The Lodge Concierge will be available to advise guests on additional customised experiences, such as a guided helicopter trip to understand the ‘ins and outs’ of making Gibbston Valley wines from above. The helicopter experience will stop at all the Winery’s major vineyards, as well as additional spots to catch some spectacular views.
For further information and bookings go to gibbstonvalleylodgeandspa.com.