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Sam Neill puts 'acclaimed' Gibbston vineyard up for sale

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Renowned Kiwi actor Sam Neill is selling his Gibbston vineyard as he looks to grow his acclaimed Two Paddocks winery, presenting an outstanding lifestyle and income opportunity for a new owner.

Nestled in the heart of the celebrated Gibbston winegrowing district, The First Paddock is a certified organic vineyard in a stunning rural Otago setting, only 25 minutes from Queenstown.

The 8.33ha property boasts 4.6ha of pinot noir vines, plus 3.2ha of additional land that could be planted or developed to provide an idyllic Gibbston lifestyle.

The vineyard was originally planted by the Neill family business in 1993, becoming the first in the prized Two Paddocks stable. It has consistently yielded very high-quality grapes, resulting in many award-winning wines.

Sam Neill, Founder and Proprietor of Two Paddocks, says he is reluctantly selling the original vineyard as the business embarks on a new chapter.

"Two Paddocks is expanding and diversifying, and rationalising some aspects of what we do," says Neill.

"Our Gibbston vineyard has always proved a prestigious asset for the business, and produced many award winning-wines. It is just a little far from our core business near Alexandra and Bannockburn.

"This beautiful 8ha estate is long-established, the vines are mature (some are nearly 30 years old) and produces some of New Zealand’s finest pinot. It also has immense lifestyle potential, situated close to Queenstown in the spectacular Gibbston Valley."

Jacqui Murphy, General Manager of Two Paddocks, says the vineyard has played an integral role for the winery.

"Since 1997, The First Paddock has consistently produced some of the best fruit for Two Paddocks and the wine has gained international recognition from preeminent wine publications.

"The wines made from grapes grown at The First Paddock are among a mere handful of New Zealand wines to receive 95 Points in Wine Spectator."

Two Paddocks has exclusively appointed Colliers to sell The First Paddock on Gibbston Back Road, Gibbston, by way of deadline private treaty closing at 2pm on 17 November, unless it is sold prior.

Ruth Hodges, Director of Rural and Agribusiness at Colliers, says it is an exceptional opportunity to acquire a storied property with abundant potential.

"This is your chance to own a very special slice of Gibbston, which is home to some of the region’s oldest vineyards and a lively, vibrant community that relishes its special character. "Often known as the "Valley of the Vines", Gibbston offers crisp clean air, hot summer days and a picturesque backdrop of ruggedly beautiful schist mountains. "Located off the beaten track yet highly accessible, Gibbston is a mere 25-minute drive from Queenstown or 10 minutes from historic Arrowtown. There’s so much to enjoy including wineries, restaurants, pubs, boutique accommodation and the famous historic Kawarau Suspension Bridge.

"This is definitely a place you’ll want to live, play and work in. The only problem is that properties in Gibbston so rarely come available - which makes The First Paddock an opportunity not to miss."

Hodges says there is plenty of potential for a new owner to enjoy income from the vineyard, plus an idyllic lifestyle.

"There’s ample room to build your dream home, with space to graze a pony or three, or develop a multitude of other lifestyle opportunities. Or think bigger and build a cellar door to complement the other vineyards and wineries in the area."

The vineyard and additional land are on one title, separated by a dry creek. The additional land is currently used by a neighbour to grow cereal crops and has two hay sheds. The property is within the Gibbston Character Zone, which is designed to protect what has made the valley a renowned wine sub-region and desirable place to live.

Prospective owners are encouraged to seek advice on development options for the additional land, which could include construction of a new home, subdivision, grazing animals, expansion of the vineyard or a combination of these.

Mike Eyles, Rural Sales Broker at Colliers, says the established vineyard makes the most of the Gibbston climate, which favours organic practices with its low humidity and natural soil health.

"The First Paddock’s vineyard is fully planted with pinot noir, in evenly-spaced rows of vines running north to south down a gentle slope.

"The vineyard has been managed since establishment by Two Paddocks’ own team, with all grape supply going to the business. It has been fully organic with BioGro certification since 2017.

"The oldest vines were planted in 1993, making them some of the most established production vines in the region. Some of these vines remain and are still producing exceptional fruit.

"Since 2008 the vineyard has undergone a staged replanting programme, with the removal of old own rooted vines and replacement with new vines on grafted rootstock. Many of the new vines are clippings from established vines deemed to produce exceptional fruit, in order to maintain the high quality and unique flavour profile created by the Two Paddocks team over almost three decades.

"Due to the unique climate of the area and position of the property, portions of the vineyard are dry farmed with limited to no irrigation, relying solely on the local rainfall. This is typically done with the oldest vines but is managed depending on the season."

Eyles says the vineyard has been managed to produce the best grapes possible, with yields sacrificed to maintain quality.

"It is not uncommon to crop the vineyard back 20 per cent depending on the season to maintain fruit quality. Yields over the past five years have averaged 19.1 tonnes, representing an average of 4.15 tonne per hectare."

Eyles says the vineyard currently has no grape supply contracts, with all fruit being used in-house. "A passive owner could explore options for contract management or lease of the vineyard, presenting an ideal income plus lifestyle scenario.

"Or an active owner could take full advantage of the exceptional fruit, producing their own wines and perhaps establishing a cellar door."

Gibbston already boasts numerous cellar doors that are often frequented by visitors to nearby Queenstown. These include Mt Rosa, Brennan Wines, Coal Pit Vineyard, Cargo Brewery at Waitiri Creek, Kinross, Rockburn, Peregrine Wines, Gibbston Valley and Chard Farm.

The area also numerous dining options in the area including Gibbston Tavern, Kinross Restaurant and multiple options at the Gibbston Valley winery.

Gibbston is well located on the scenic Queenstown Trail, which draws in thousands of cyclists and day-walkers every year.

Attractions include a range of boutique accommodation, the bungy jump off the Kawarau Swing Bridge, Oxbow adventures, and an array of hikes around some of the valley’s rugged peaks.

The well-attended Gibbston summer concert showcases a range of singers and bands each year.

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