The launch of a luxury lodge and spa at Central Otago’s pioneering Gibbston Valley Winery reinforces the reputation of the renowned vineyard as a leader in the industry.
Gibbston Valley Lodge & Spa, featuring a sophisticated architecturally designed lodge, 24 superior accommodation villas and a secluded on-site spa opened to its first guests just before Christmas.
Gibbston Valley Winery CEO Greg Hunt says the exciting new complex allows guests to connect with the vineyard and the winery experience on an all new level.
“We’re thrilled to have created a totally unique and completely enriching new experience for guests. It’s more than just about unwinding among the vines, it’s about exploring the vineyard and gaining a more intimate and deeper understanding of the behind-the-scenes workings of a world- class winery, to a degree that’s not available anywhere else in the world.”
The lodge, which along with the spa is designed by Queenstown architects Wyatt + Gray, includes a striking fireplace, soaring ceiling and sun-filled conservatory along with an al fresco dining area and an exclusive restaurant and cellar complete with historic vintages. Central Otago schist clads the exterior to blend with the surrounding rugged environment.
The beautifully appointed upmarket villas, designed by Space Studios, overlook the first block of land ever planted in vines in Gibbston Valley and provide stunning views of the vineyard and surrounding landscape.
The spa facility is a luxurious retreat focusing on health, beauty and wellbeing and the relaxed environment includes a range of indulgences including vinotherapy treatments.
Greg says a highlight of staying at the Lodge & Spa is the chance to sample exquisite cuisine, prepared by executive chef Anthony Gradiska, which is paired with premium handcrafted Gibbston Valley wines.
“ A selection of our wines personalised to the preferences of guests greets them on arrival at the lodge. Customised concierge services round out the lodge experience by providing the best advice and local knowledge on wine tasting, cycle tours, walking tracks and packages for activities on site and throughout the wider Central Otago region.”
The diversification of the vineyard has been in the planning for four years to ensure all elements of the Lodge & Spa merge seamlessly with both Gibbston Valley and the winery itself.
“We have also created the lodge as a venue for events and in particular boutique weddings. There is a small wine education theatre, private meeting rooms and indoor and outdoor spaces that suit all occasions,” says Greg. “ This is a world-class setting and offers the ultimate in relaxed luxury, fine wine, culinary excellence and 5-star personal service.”
The new Gibbston Valley Lodge & Spa “walks the talk” when it comes to sustainable practices, according to winery operations manager Donna Gradiska.
“We have been focused on sustainability for many years at Gibbston Valley and have both a BioGro certified organic vineyard and certified organic winery and it follows that we are committed to sustainability at the Lodge & Spa. We are going to a lot of effort to do away with single-use products and have introduced eco-conscious options throughout the entire operation.”
To this end, she says the lodge features everything from in-room recycling to refillable glass milk bottles and breakfast spreads served in ramekins.
“Bathrooms in the villas have bamboo toothbrushes and sparkling water is on tap in the lodge with reusable bottles supplied for guests. Where possible we have supported the local artisan industry and other New Zealand environmentally conscious companies.”
Sustainability initiatives are also being spearheaded by executive chef Anthony Gradiska and his team who have created gardens near the winery kitchen growing fresh produce from seedlings.
Donna says a new fruit orchard has been planted comprised of fig and feijoa trees and a berry grove.
“Composting, developing worm farms and giving waste products to a neighbouring farmer for his pigs have become part and parcel of how the kitchen team operates. The Lodge and Spa is not only sustainable in its product offerings but in streamlining how we work as a team across the winery and lodge.”