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A taste of opulence in Central Otago

Tom O'Leary Dec 12
A taste of opulence in Central Otago

Imagine, if you will, opening the doors of your villa onto a private patio, looking out over grape vines, and enjoying the smooth texture of a perfectly tempered pinotnoir in the warmth of a Central Otago summer’s evening.Or, after spending the day biking the vineyard’s trails, luxuriating in your villa’s freestanding bath, glass of wine in hand.

Imagine no longer; Gibbston Valley Winery’s new Lodge and Spa development is set within the existing winery, offering 24 luxury villas, a lodge and spa.Set within some of Central Otago’s most beautiful scenery, the new development is as much about honouring the majestic landscape and providing a unique guest experience as it is about stylish accommodation.

Andrew Fontein, a member of the Gibbston Valley team, has been closely involved in the develop-ment and is openly passionate about the land and the project.“It’s a beautiful area here. The lay of the land is incredible.

We stretch all the way down to the cliffs of the Kawarau Gorge and the historic bridge famous for bungy jumping.”Gibbston Valley Winery has been part of the Central Otago landscape for near on forty years.

An early pioneer in the industry, Alan Brady, planted grapes in what was then arid land. Sharing the same parallels as Burgundy, Gibbston Valley is internationally renowned for its Pinot Noir, along with Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot Gris.

The idea of developing accommodation within the winery had been percolating for a number of years and was fi nally crystallised a couple of years ago.“We didn’t want to build ‘just a hotel room’. We wanted to create an experience.

“A big focus is the landscape of the area. We have a beautiful stream that cuts down the middle of the property and fl ows in front of each one of the villas that sit amongst the vines.”

The fusion of landscape, winery, lodge and spa creates an environment where the experience becomes hero and guests enjoy high-level wine, delicious food and receive an education on the finer points of viticulture.

“We offer a range of tours and experiences focused around food and beverage education for people to partake in while they are here.

People want to go away feeling they’ve learned something about wine, the wine making process and what actually goes into putting grapes into a bottle that you can then drink.”

A taste of opulence in Central Otago

Each villa features an immaculately appointed interior, a secluded courtyard for soaking up the sun and a covered deck for enjoying a romantic breakfast or evening drink.

Passionate about seasonal menus, sourcing food locally and using the lay of the land, executive chef Anthony Gradiska has been with Gibbston Valley for the last two years creating culinary delights.

With gardens and greenhouses already on site, when the lodge opens more of the Chef’s gardens will be added providing a ready bounty of fresh produce.“Looking at it from a food and beverage perspective we’re quite unique,” says Andrew.

“Even on a global scale there aren’t many places where you can stay right in the vines where the grapes are grown, and have the wine made and food grown just around the corner.”

Central to the development is the main lodge building with restaurant, bar, conservatory, media room and a tasting room hosting private functions or dinners.

A large open fi replace serves as the lodge’s centrepiece—creating the ambience of the luxury lodge that it is—where guests will congregate, socialise and talk of the day’s adventures with other guests, or plan their next adventure.

The 16-seat theatre-style media room will form part of the Essential Winery Experience during which guests visit the ever-popular Wine Cave, vineyards and wine-making facilities before watch-ing a video on wine making.

Outside the Lodge, the chef’s gardens grow delicious fresh vegetables, an outdoor fi re pit adds energy and warmth, and a patio overlooks the property.

Each of the 24 villas offer 65sqm of interior space comprised of bedroom, large bathroom with separate shower and freestanding bath, separate living space with a 55-inch TV, fi replace, and mini bar featuring Gibbston Valley Wines.Located on a rise between two hills, the Spa offers three treatment rooms, a sauna, two outdoor hot pools and a gym.

With a focus on vinotherapy such as grape-seed rubs, massages, manicures, pedicures and all things expected of a luxury spa will also be on offer.Sustainability has always been important to Gibbston Valley and has featured highly in the new development.

“This is such a beautiful piece of earth so as we’re extracting from it we’re giving back the same, if not more, to make it a sustainable area for people to come and visit.”

This article was brought to you in association with the following businesses…

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