Wine & Jazz Weekend Recap
The Gibbston Valley Presents Wine & Jazz Weekend has come to an end, but we’re still buzzing about the stellar wine, food and live jazz lineup that took place from 23 - 26 October, thanks to celebrity chef Simon Gault, our chief winemaker Christopher Keys and the incredibly-talented Queenstown JazzFest artists.
We kicked off the long weekend in style on Friday evening with our VIP cocktail reception held at the Gibbston Valley Penthouse located in Queenstown where Wine Club members, VIPs from the Queenstown JazzFest and other invited guests mixed and mingled to the smooth jazz stylings of Coleman, Cornish & Craigie complemented by the venue's stunning views of Queenstown. Passed canapés and a range of Gibbston Valley wines were on the menu including our Wine Club Members Only Reserve Pinot Noir and newly-disgorged NV Methode Traditionelle.
From there, the festivities continued with a champagne brunch hosted exclusively for Wine Club members at the Crowne Plaza on Saturday morning followed by lunch at the winery featuring jazz artists Adams & Gavin + The Tin Flowers.
Saturday evening marked the weekend’s main event, a Gala Dinner with Celebrity Chef Simon Gault at Skyline Queenstown. Entertainment was provided by the Geoff Culverwell Quintet.
At arrival, guests were greeted with a glass of NV Methode Traditionelle for their ride up the gondola. Once inside Skyline’s private dining room, guests had just enough time to admire the view and maybe even enjoy another glass of bubbles before a brief welcome and introduction from co-hosts Simon and Chief Gibbston Valley Winemaker Christopher Keys.
Simon’s degustation menu consisted of four delicious courses, starting with his Venetian style seafood trio of Hapuka, slipper lobsters and prawns paired with 2010 Gibbston Valley Pinot Gris. Next, Simon delighted the crowd with his sorbet making demonstration. With the help of a little liquid nitrogen and some vigorous whisking, he turned a bowl of liquid into refreshing Dilmah pineapple tea sorbet accompanied with 2015 Gibbston Valley Rosé.
Sous vide Canterbury lamb rump with Moroccan pumpkin, forest mushroom and Tio Pepe Sherry vol-au-vent made up the fourth course, paired with a magnum of 2013 Glenlee Pinot Noir. The two created an absolutely stunning combination.
For dessert, decadence was on the menu with Simon’s roasted white chocolate cheesecake served with strawberry jelly, cashew praline and banana ice cream and paired with 2014 Gibbston Valley Late Harvest. A blend of Riesling and Pinot Blanc, the Late Harvest has a rich and toffee nose perfect for accompanying white chocolate.
After dinner, guests took to the dance floor, rounding out the evening’s entertaining lineup of fantastic wine, food and music.
Sunday, the party moved to down the road for Arrowtown Jazz Day, starting with a bubbles brunch at A Taste of Gibbston Valley Café & Wine Bar featuring live entertainment from JazzFest artists Karin Reid with Coleman, Cornish & Craigie.
After brunch, guests could take bottles of wine purchased at the café, outside on the Buckingham Green to enjoy while listening to more live jazz performed by the Geoff Culverwell Quartet. Other artists performed at various venues in Arrowtown throughout the day.
In the evening, Gibbston Valley guests had more incredible wine and food to look forward to with our two degustation dinners hosted simultaneously at different restaurants in Queenstown and each focused on different varietals.
Pinot Progression at VKnow, hosted by our winemaker Christopher and restaurant owner Danny Carson, featured a fantastic lineup of Pinot Noirs each paired with one of six courses served on the night. Live entertainment was provided by Richard Adams and Nigel Gavin.
Some highlights from the menu were Chef Lizzie’s duck and venison parfait paired with the sensational 2009 Gibbston Valley Pinot Noir and Fiordland’s Wild Venison Wellington with steamed vegetables and mash and accompanied with our 2010 Pinot Noir. These vintage Pinot Noirs are drinking beautifully right now.
Guests were also treated to a fantastic preview of our 2014 Gibbston Valley Reserve Pinot Noir served with the final course of the night, VKnow's signature dessert cheese platter.
The other degustation dinner, Wild Whites, was just as delightful and focused on only white wine varietals, each paired with one of seven courses served on the night. The dinner was hosted by Gibbston Valley Winemaker Matt Swirtz at Wild Ginger.
Highlights from the menu included sautéed scallops with pumpkin veloute, halloumi cheese, prosciutto and garlic panko and paired with 2010 Le Fou Riesling and sauteed scampi with rockmelon puree, radish, almonds and pickled cucumber and paired with 2011 Gibbston Valley Pinot Blanc.
The zesty seafood dishes were an excellent match for the range of clean and refreshing white wine varietals on the menu. Dessert consisted of apple strudel with blueberries, chili jam and brie gelato accompanied by 2014 Gibbston Valley Noble. Handcrafted from botrytised Pinot Gris and Riesling, our Noble has lovely tropical notes that were a stunning complement to the sweet and savoury flavours in the gelato.
Monday, the festivities continued with our 20th Anniversary Wine Cave Celebration at the winery. From 12 – 3 p.m. we offered complimentary wine cave tours and tastings. Afterwards, guests were invited to stay for lunch in the courtyard and enjoy live entertainment provided by jazz artists Hetty Kate & James Sherlock and Manins & Moon with Coleman, Cornish & Craigie.
The sun was shining, the weather was sweet and we couldn’t have asked for a better day to celebrate this special anniversary.
It was truly a wonderful weekend, and we thank everyone for coming out and joining us. Stay tuned for more wine events coming soon.
Check out photos from the weekend below.