December, 2019Theres a strong hands on focus at the new five-star, $30-million plus
Gibbston Valley Lodge and Spa, nestled among the vines in Central
Otagos pioneering winery, with fresh organic produce and award-
winning wines flowing freely.
Set on 1000 acres of privately-owned land, the exclusive lodge features
24 beautiful villas overlooking Gibbston Valleys historic Le Maitre
vineyard block, a central lodge building for fine dining and intimate
wine experiences, a spa and health centre, and on-site activities.
Gibbston Valley Winery has a deep history of winery excellence and land
guardianship, reinforced in recent years with its standing as a BioGro
certified organic vineyard, and BioGro certified organic winery.
Gibbston Valley Lodge & Spa, with its striking lodge building and
separate spa opened in December (2019) and Kiwi executive chef
Anthony Gradiska and his team have been charged with delivering
culinary excellence, accompanied by fine wines.
With more than 20 years experience under his belt, Aucklander
Anthony most recently hailed from working on private motor yachts
cruising the Mediterranean, New Zealand and the South Pacific. His
impressive pedigree also includes time at French Café and Merediths as
well as ownership of his own restaurant on the Coromandel with his
Anthonys delighted with the awesome team he has around him in the
kitchen, which includes eight chefs and three kitchen hands. Sous chef
Joe Coles has worked in Michelin star properties in the United Kingdom
while Brazilian sous chef Thiago Baldez is also a very skilled, high-end
While the long-established winery restaurant garden is on hand,
Anthonys excited about taking lodge guests for a meander through the
newly-planted, organic lodge gardens from this spring (2020). Guests
can walk with me and choose what theyd like, pick it and itll be on
the dinner menu that evening, says Anthony. I buy all organically-
certified seeds and always endeavour to raise all plants from seed
The valley is also a foragers heaven. Autumn is coming up and we have
heaps of wild mushrooms around here so foraging is another possibility
for guests. Whatever they collect can be incorporated onto the menu
offering a truly hands on experience.
Despite some trend towards more vegetarian and vegan options
worldwide, Anthony says 80 percent of clientele are still meat eaters.
However, he also always offers a good range of options for the
herbivores. Our focus is working with ingredients in season and doing
what we can with them, he says. For example, the other day we
started doing some research and development on a vegetarian dish using
sweetcorn, then thought it needed protein. It turned out to be great
with crayfish. It just really needed something, but sometimes that
process works the other way around.
While the lodge restaurant is normally exclusive to in-house lodge
guests, it also offers those not staying there an opportunity to get up
close with the vines and produce, and learn about what the winery
As executive chef, Anthony also oversees Gibbston Valleys winery
At the winery everything is hand-tendered and made, from vine to
fruit to wine, says winemaker Christopher Keys. By the time each
bottle makes it to the table, there are endless stories encapsulated in
every glass. People, place and seasons are captured in our wines, so
the Essential Wine Experience is a fantastic way to unravel this, bringing
our wines, our people, land and story to life.
The half-day educational experience, exclusive to Lodge guests, winds
through the working core of Gibbston Valley for a behind-the-scenes
view of its operation. Sights and smells turn into tastes and chats with
winemakers and chefs.
The experience ends as it should, with food, wine and conversation at
the Lodge Restaurant. Additional customised experiences, like guided
helicopter trips, help guests understand the ins and outs or making
wine from above, stopping off at the winerys major vineyards.
Bookings have been rolling in for the nee Lodge and Spa, which has been
four years in the making. Gibbston Valley Winery chief executive Greg
Hunt said right from the opening theres been a phenomenal response
in terms of bookings.
Weve created a place of humble luxury, where guests truly feel
welcome and taken care of, thanks to unexpected touches of indulgence
and our personal concierge service, he says.
Another stand-out feature at the world class luxurious retreat is the
private spa with its specialist treatment rooms offering an innovative
range of vinotherapy treatments and the opportunity to connect with
the land and the winery on a whole new level.
Source: Intermedia NZ
+64 27 444 1104