Fine wine and early New Zealand art flow seamlessly together at Cox’s Vineyard in Gibbston where co-owners Simon Cox, a second-generation wine grower and Leah Seifert, a second-generation art dealer share their passion for both.
Located on the Gibbston Back Road the vineyard’s tasting room is gaining a reputation for its award-winning wines and unique historic art pieces.
“I think the turning point came when we opened the cellar door,” says Leah. “The wine is exceptional so speaks for itself and only Simon and I run the tasting room which means visitors are always hosted by us. The art and objects we display are unique, high quality pieces telling stories of New Zealand’s cultural history.”
Simon has been involved with the vineyard since his father Doug established the premium Pinot Noir site. Initially a contract grape operation they now produce their own single vineyard Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris which attract five-star wine reviews.
The first vintage under the Cox’s Vineyard label was in 2016 with the 2018 Pinot Noir recently winning gold at the 2020 New Zealand International Wine Awards. In 2018, a wine made solely from Coxs’ fruit, the Takapoto Estate 2014 Gibbston Pinot Noir, won The Pinot Noir trophy at the IWSC in London.
” Although it was not our wine, knowing that it was our fruit is a major success for us” says Simon. “Given that this is the world’s most highly respected wine competition attracting over 5000 entries for the category we were overjoyed. We are eternally grateful to Takapoto Estate wine maker Andy Anderson for what he did with our grapes.”
Leah’s father owned Dunedin’s Marshall Seifert Gallery for 25 years and her background as an art dealer is evident at the vineyard’s tasting room.
“Having the heritage gallery here is both a point of difference and a great fulfilment for us, as the whole experience for our guests has become educational as well as enjoyable. Visitors can view and purchase a wide selection of New Zealand art and objects including the first images of European/Maori encounters during Abel Tasman’s 1642 voyage, through to contemporary works including Ralph Hotere, Len Castle, and Whites Aviation hand coloured photographs.”
The Coxs’ Vineyard tasting room is open seven days by appointment only.
“Guests need to make a booking and we host one group at a time offering a private tasting. There are some exciting things in the pipeline for summer,” says Leah. “Joining our mailing list and Instagram is a great way to stay updated on what is happening out here at the vineyard.”