Sam Neill puts acclaimed Gibbston vineyard up for sale


Famous Kiwi actor Sam Neill sells his Gibbston vineyard as he seeks to grow his famous Two Paddocks vineyard, providing an exceptional lifestyle and income opportunity for a new owner.

Nestled in the heart of the famous Gibbston wine district, The First Paddock is a certified organic vineyard set in a beautiful rural setting in Otago, just 25 minutes from Queenstown.

The 8.33 ha property has 4.6 ha of Pinot Noir vines, plus an additional 3.2 ha of land that could be planted or developed to provide an idyllic lifestyle in Gibbston.

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

Sam Neill, founder and owner of Two Paddocks, says he reluctantly sells the original vineyard as the business begins a new chapter.

“Two Paddocks is growing, diversifying and streamlining aspects of our business,” says Neill.

“Our Gibbston vineyard has always been a prestigious asset to the company and has produced many award-winning wines. It’s just a bit far from our core business near Alexandra and Bannockburn.

“This beautiful 8 ha estate is long established, the vines are mature (some are almost 30 years old) and produce some of the best New Zealand pinots. It also has immense lifestyle potential, located close to Queenstown in the spectacular Gibbston Valley.

Jacqui Murphy, General Manager of Two Paddocks, says the vineyard has played a vital 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 through preeminent wine publications.

“Wines made from grapes grown at the First Paddock are among a handful of New Zealand wines to be awarded 95 points in Wine spectator.

Two Paddocks has exclusively appointed Colliers to sell The First Paddock on Gibbston Back Road, Gibbston, by mutual agreement at 2 p.m. on November 17, unless it is sold beforehand.

Ruth Hodges, Rural and Agri-Food Director at Colliers, says this is an exceptional opportunity to acquire a historic property with abundant potential.

“This is your chance to own a very special slice of Gibbston, home to some of the region’s oldest wineries and a vibrant, vibrant community that relishes its special character.

“Often known as the ‘Valley of the Vines,’ Gibbston offers crisp, crisp air, hot summer days and a picturesque backdrop of ruggedly beautiful shale mountains.

“Off the beaten track but very accessible, Gibbston is just a 25 minute drive from Queenstown or 10 minutes from historic Arrowtown. There is so much to enjoy including wineries, restaurants, pubs, boutique accommodation, and the famous historic Kawarau Suspension Bridge.

“This is definitely a place where you will want to live, play and work. The only problem is that properties in Gibbston are so rarely available, which makes the First Paddock an opportunity not to be missed. ”

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

“There is ample room to build the house of your dreams, with room to graze a pony or three, or develop a multitude of other lifestyle opportunities. Or go bigger and build a cellar door to complement the other wineries and cellars in the area.

The vineyard and the additional land are on the same title, separated by a dry stream. The additional land is currently used by a neighbor for growing grain and has two hay sheds.

The property sits in the Gibbston Character Area, designed to protect what has made the valley a renowned wine sub-region and sought after place of life.

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

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

“The First Paddock vineyard is entirely planted with Pinot Noir, in rows of vines evenly spaced from north to south on a gentle slope.

“The vineyard has been managed since its inception by Two Paddocks’ own team, with all the grape supply going to the company. It is fully organic with BioGro certification since 2017.

“The oldest vines were planted in 1993, making them one of the most established production vines in the region. Some of these vines survive and still produce exceptional fruit.

“Since 2008, the vineyard has been the subject of a phased replanting program, with the removal of old rooted vines and their replacement by new vines on grafted rootstock. Most of the new vines are cuttings from established vines known to produce exceptional fruit, in order to maintain the high quality and unique flavor profile created by the team at Two Paddocks for nearly three decades.

“Due to the unique climate of the region and the position of the property, parts of the vineyard are grown in dry conditions with little or no irrigation, relying only on local rainfall. This is usually done with the oldest vines but is managed according to 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 by 20% depending on the season to maintain the quality of the fruit. Yields over the past five years have averaged 19.1 tonnes, an average of 4.15 tonnes per hectare.

Eyles says the vineyard currently has no grape supply contract, with all the fruit being used in-house.

“A passive owner could explore options for contract management or rental of the vineyard, presenting an ideal income and lifestyle scenario.

“Or an active owner could take full advantage of the exceptional fruit, produce their own wines and perhaps establish a cellar door.”

Gibbston already has many cellar doors which are often visited by visitors to the nearby city of Queenstown. These include Mt Rosa, Brennan Wines, Coal Pit Vineyard, Cargo Brewery in Waitiri Creek, Kinross, Rockburn, Peregrine Wines, Gibbston Valley, and Chard Farm.

The area also offers many dining options in the area including Gibbston Tavern, Kinross Restaurant and several options at Gibbston Valley Winery.

Gibbston is conveniently located on the scenic Queenstown Trail, which attracts thousands of cyclists and walkers each year.

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

Gibbston’s busy summer concert features a range of singers and bands each year.

About Colliers International:

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