As you know me well by now I love my cycling. I love riding the lanes and trails of this mighty town but when wine is added to the mix you’d think there should be a warning sticker on the box (I’m clumsy enough). Fear not fair traveller I have a story to tell and it’s one you’ll like. There’s wine and biking involved and you’ll love me for it.
Gibbston Valley Winery and restaurant have been around a fair while now. Turning out some of the most beautiful wines in this region (and could be argued the world. I’m taking their Rose in the ring with anyone who wants to fight). So when cycling and walking trails opened up right on their doorstep it seemed a no brainer to make you work for your lunch. Winding along the river the trails offer everything for the seasoned mountain biker to an afternoon amble. Breathtaking views of the old bungy bridge and a winding web of directions to take (head towards the bluff or out towards the bridge and Lake Hayes). We tied up our laces and sped out on a beauty of a day. Stinking hot and blustery to boot I worked and worked hard for my next meal.
There’s such a good set up there. Park in Queenstown and hop on a Gibbston Valley bus, arrive at Gibbston and pick up helmet, bike and map. There’s nothing like the feeling of working up a sweat to be greeted by a lush table setting for two. My amazing guide (digital marketing and communications manager) Caroline took me off on a tour of the basin on our trusty steeds and then settled us in for an afternoon of eating, sipping and giving me a grand tour of the place.
The wine cave tour is something else. Disappear from the heat of the day into a cool cave of 14 degrees and so many wine barrels I got lost. There’s an extensive list of combinations you can choose from, tours, cycling, wine tasting, summer concerts.
We decided on a Rosé to accompany our harvest platter, where the board was literally stuffed with divine cheeses, pate’s pickles, crackers, mussels and dips. All made on site in their kitchen. Launching their 2014 Single Vineyard Pinot, I tried all 4 and decided on the School House Pinot Noir as my favourite. Really good now but can be left for 5-10 years. But in my mind, who does that? I want to quaff it all now.
Their new menu has just been released and they are open daily from 10am- 5pm so there’s no excuse not to head out there. Girls weekend away, friends in town, surprise birthday, it’s such a beautiful way to see the valley from a different angle. Slowing down (I’m am ambler on the bike) peddling along taking in the amazing place we call home, then settling in for an afternoon of wine tasting and feeling those legs after they’ve worked.
Set in lush rose gardens, the history of the whole of Gibbston laid out before you. Wine to drink and bikes to ride and no need to worry about having to get home why would you not make this a part of your staycation? I couldn’t for the life of me find a reason not to. As we wandered around the vineyard marvelling at what and how this place came to be, you feel part of the history beneath your feet. Add two wheels to the mix and you can see the whole place in a day. Slow down, get out of your car, see and feel the valley all around you. Then sip and relax your afternoon away.