Kinross is the ultimate destination for wine lovers who desire a truly memorable experience in the world's southernmost wine region. Kinross are privileged to unite five local wine labels - Coal Pit, Hawkshead, Kinross, Valli and Wild Irishman - within the Kinross Cellar Door.
Showcasing wines from high end boutique producers (without their own Cellar Doors) allows our guests an exclusive experience of the tremendous wines produced in Central Otago. Guests learn from our knowledgable Wine Advisors about the remarkable stories behind each wine label, tales of triumph (and disaster) from the early days when the first vine were planted, what makes these wines unique and so sought after internationally.
Known as the Valley of the Vines, Gibbston holds a bold reputation as one of the world's finest wine growing subregions.
Only 25 km east of Queenstown, the Gibbston Valley falls gently to the Kawarau Gorge and the beautifully rugged river below. Located on the 45th Latitude, once considered far too southerly to support vines, Gibbston has exceeded all expectations as a wine growing region. This subregions has prevent be a multi award winning region for wine growing due in part to its near continental climate, where warm days and cool nights evoke memories of Burgundy and the north-facing slopes benefit from sunshine all year round. The area is also known for long dry autumns, accompanied by warm daylight temperatures, which ensures slow ripening and intense flavour development. Four season a year, Gibbston is an extraordinary area to visit.
Just 5 mins from Kinross, located at an elevation of 380 metres Coal Pit's Gibbston vineyard takes its name from the historical coal pit site in the nearby mountain ranges.
First planted in 1994 with Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc, Coal Pit is a highly regarded and internationally recognised Gibbston vineyard. All winemaking activity from growing, picking and crafting happens on site, by the female lead team, to express the distinct purity of the wines from this unique Central Otago terroir. The wines are all produced to exacting and traditional methods, aged in French oak barrels for a minimum of 12 months, utilising certified sustainable practices.
Owner Rosie Dunphy and Head Winemaker Anika Willner, alongside their team, are committed in their pursuit of premium Pinot Noir, that speaks so clearly of its high altitude Gibbston origins.
Their 'Tiwha' 2018 was named the International Wine Challenge (IWC) NZ Best Red Wine in 2019, also taking out the Sustainability Trophy. This recent accolade, alongside a string of others in the last few years, is indicative of the exceptional standard of their wine, and the talent of rising star Anika Willner.
Our direct neighbours, Hawkshead is a 'Single Estate' Vineyard specialising in Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Riesling grapes and is recognised for producing award winning wines in both New Zealand and overseas.
Denis, the ex-Minister of Conservation, and Ulrike, a Sommelier, have a vast amount of winemaking knowledge and experience together have collaborated new and old world techniques to create renowned wines both in NZ and overseas.
Their viticulture and winemaking philosophy is uncompromising and the majority of vineyard work is carried out by hand. All wines are individually handcrafted using 'Old World' secrets, with a vibrant New Zealand personality.
Hawkshead is registered with Sustainable Wine Growing New Zealand and is working toward organic status. www.hawksheadwine.com
Valli's Gibbston vineyard is next door to Kinross, growing some of the best Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris that Gibbston is now so famous for. Grant Taylors' name is synonymous with central Otago Pinot Noir and is one of NZ's most awarded pinot noir winemakers. Most famous for winning the trophy for 'Best Pinot Noir' at the one of the world's largest wine competitions in London, not once, but four times – a feat achieved by no other winemaker in the world.
An Otago native, Grant's wine journey began 18 years before establishing Valli, in Napa, California where he helped establish two different world renowned wineries and at the same time becoming a renowned winemaker.
Upon his return to New Zealand, he became the first winemaker at Gibbston Valley Winery. During the past 19 years he has made the first wines for a number of iconic Otago wineries, but now concentrates on Valli.
Established in 1998, with the aim of creating true representations of Otago's subregions, four in total, Bendigo, Waitaki, Bannockburn and Gibbston he expresses these with unflinching intensity and purity, it was also a first for the region – no one had attempted to capture, let alone master the developing subregional plot that has now begun to unfold as the next exciting chapter in the Otago wine story. Most recently the Valli Gibbston Pinot Noir 2019 took out the IWC NZ Best Red Wine trophy, arguably one of the most prestigious wine competitions in the world. www.valliwine.com
Wine pioneer and legend Alan Brady has the reputation of being the only person (crazy enough, says he) to have built two wineries in the Central Otago region.
He established Gibbston Valley Wines and introduced Vallis' Grant Taylor as its first winemaker and then much later, Mount Edward.
Having "retired" officially in 2005, Alan is still indulging his passion in pinot and has come out of hiding to make Wild Irishman. It is a boutique wine made in very limited quantities and to an excellent standard and with no commercial pressure to meet a certain market or style, he says he's having "a lot of fun."
"Wild Irishman" is an apt play on Alan's ancestry, as well as being another name for matagouri, the prickly plant often seen around Central Otago's hills.