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25 years of winemaking to be celebrated in style

17 July 2012

25 years of winemaking to be celebrated in style

A multi-award-winning and world-renowned Central Otago winery is celebrating its 25th commercial grape harvest this year by hosting a ‘not-to-be missed’ event in recognition of the milestone.

Gibbston Valley Winery will be serving up five delicious courses with matching wines from its cellar at a celebration dinner to mark 25 years of grape growing in one of the southernmost vineyards in the world.

The anniversary dinner will be held in Gibbston Valley Winery’s new ‘Barrel Hall ’ on September 1 2012.

As part of the celebration and the company’s ongoing commitment to its local community, Gibbston Valley Winery is proud to announce that national charity Cure Kids will be the beneficiary of the night.

Cure Kids was established more than 35 years ago to address the lack of research into life-threatening childhood diseases in New Zealand, and Gibbston Valley Winery has come on board to help support the worthy cause. At the dinner there will be auctions of rare and collectable wine held throughout the evening with proceeds going to Cure Kids.

Cure Kids business development director Josie Spillane, who is based in Cromwell, said she was “delighted” that the charity was able to partner with Gibbston Valley Wines for the anniversary event and into the future.

“Having been part of the Cure Kids team for eight years, I know how indebted we are to the Queenstown community,” she said.

“Our heart and soul will always remain in Queenstown and we are now delighted to have a partnership with such a fabulous local company - Gibbston Valley Wines.

“We’re thrilled that Gibbston Valley Wines is as driven as Cure Kids to raise funds for vital medical research into life-threatening illnesses that affect children.”

Guest speakers on the night will include founding Gibbston Valley winemaker Alan Brady and current Gibbston Valley winemaker Christopher Keys, both of whom will sign the bottles going up for auction, making them real collectors’ items.

Mr Brady was first to plant and commercially produce wines in Gibbston Valley, harvesting pinot noir, pinot gris and a ‘dry white’ blend in 1987, while Mr Keys has been at the winemaking helm for the last six years.

Gibbston Valley Winery was one of the early pioneers of what became the ‘pinot noir phenomenon’, a wine that’s now the second-largest variety in New Zealand to sauvignon blanc.

Twenty-five years later, a dream run of weather producing high quality fruit has the winery predicting an outstanding 2012 vintage.

Anniversary dinner guests will enjoy delicious cuisine such as goat’s cheese and red onion tarts coupled with Le Fou Reisling, and roasted duck breast with a Central Otago cherry glaze paired with Le Maitre Pinot Noir, both wines carefully selected from the Gibbston Valley *Single Vineyard collection.

The award-winning 2009 Pinot Noir will be served with a main course featuring seared venison Denver leg and venison ‘cottage pie’ with Gibbston Valley wild thyme jus, and a late harvest wine will be served with decadent pistachio crème brulee with all the trimmings for dessert.

Gibbston Valley Wine CEO Greg Hunt said the dinner was the perfect way to mark the 25th anniversary of the pioneering company.

“Gibbston Valley Wine is an institution in Central Otago and there seemed no better way to recognise that than celebrate with outstanding cuisine accompanied by outstanding wines.

“It’s going to be a memorable event that we want the community to be very much a part of,” he said. “I encourage everyone to get in early for tickets as we envisage they’ll be in high demand.

“We know from experience that many of our Wine Club members from all around New Zealand are always looking for the perfect excuse to visit this region!”

Over the years, Gibbston Valley Winery has won more than 300 national and international awards, helping put the Central Otago wine region on the map.

Thanks to the pioneering spirit of those such as Gibbston Valley Winery founder Alan Brady, the Central Otago region now has approximately 2000 hectares of vines and over 100 producers, and this year’s total harvest is expected to be about 7000 tonnes.

Gibbston Valley Winery is home to a stunning winery restaurant, a cellar door wine tasting facility, New Zealand’s largest and innovative wine cave, available for wine tours, private functions, weddings and special occasions, the new Barrel Hall for C&I functions and weddings, and a retail outlet.

Gibbston Valley Wine anniversary dinner fast facts:

Date: 1 September
Auction: Rare and collectable wine, signed by Alan Brady and Christopher Keys with proceeds going to Cure Kids
Entertainment: Live music by local band Calico
Cost: $120 per person all inclusive
Return Transport: Optional service at an additional $20 per person

Bookings for dinner and transport can be made by emailing

Accommodation packages are available at The Heritage Hotel, Millbrook and St Mortiz Queenstown. Please contact the hotels directly to make a reservation.

*More about the Gibbston Valley Single Vineyard collection

These are the cutting edge, terroir-based wines from the best of Gibbston Valley Winery’s spectacular vineyards. As such they distinctly and authentically represent place. They are based on elegance, savoury finesse and complexity, and their incredible depths are best appreciated with food.

From the oldest vineyards in Gibbston, to the highest in Bendigo, their narratives, history and vineyard qualities make them an incredible package.

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