History & Geography
Inspired by his passion for winemaking, Gibbston Valley Winery founder, Alan Brady, planted his first vines in Gibbston in the early 1980s. At 45 degrees south of the equator, his vines were right on the knife-edge of possibility for grape cultivation. Everyone thought that it was too cold for grapes here, but Brady had a hunch, and he was right. After his initial plantings, Alan realised the trials and tribulations of being a winemaker. He learned that certain varieties thrived in the region’s cool, continental climate. Alan planted Gibbston Valley's first commercial vineyard, Home Block, in 1983 and released Central Otago’s first commercial vintage in 1987. The wine gained considerable recognition, creating Central Otago's first footprint in the world of winemaking. Soon others followed. Today, Central Otago is regarded as one of the top three regions in the world for Pinot Noir along with Burgundy in France and Oregon in the USA.
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