Gibbston Valley Riesling. Rosé, Chardonnay and Methode


Gibbston Valley Winery, headed by Philip Griffith, is Central Otago’s showcase with a well-developed visitor complex based on a restaurant, cellar door and underground cave. It also has the history of being one of the pioneers in the region. The wines produced by winemakers Christopher Keyes, Sascha Herbert and Matt Swirtz are among the best ambassadors for Central Otago. Earlier this year in August, I reviewed the excellent 2013 and sensational 2012 Pinot Noirs, along with the Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc wines (click here to see). The Pinot family bottlings could possibly be the highlight of the range made at Gibbston Valley Winery, but I know that Chris and his team put as much thought into their other wines, and the whole portfolio can be seen as extremely strong.

Of particular interest is the sparkling wine programme initiated by Phil Griffith in 2010. The classic base wine making techniques of hand-picking, very gentle pressing and using only free-run juice (550 L/tonne) are employed. Early picking of the fruit is seen as essential, and the limited production has enabled barrel-fermentation. The significant use of MLF is to ensure the acidity is not hard, and enables the avoidance of high dosage. A non-vintaged wine has been released, and there are 2011 vintage bottlings, a Rosé and Blanc de Blanc, receiving extended time on lees.

Here, I review a small vertical selection of the Rieslings, the new 2014 Rosé, the ‘China Terrace’ single vineyard Chardonnay 2013, and the non-vintaged Methode, the initial release from the sparkling wine programme. They show the strength of the Gibbston Valley Winery’s offerings across the board.


  • Gibbston Valley Central Otago Rosé 2014
  • Gibbston Valley ‘China Terrace’ Central Otago Chardonnay 2013
  • Gibbston Valley Central Otago Methode Traditionnelle ‘Extra Brut’ NV
  • Gibbston Valley Central Otago Riesling 2012
  • Gibbston Valley Central Otago Riesling 2013
  • Gibbston Valley Central Otago Riesling 2014
  • Gibbston Valley ‘Le Fou’ Central Otago Riesling 2014

Latest wine reviews, news, events and more. 🍷
We respect your privacy.