By PHILIP CHANDLER
A unique multi-winery Queenstown business is plonking a major cellar door at the centre of its operation.
Gibbston’s Kinross — a finalist in last weekend’s Queenstown Business Awards — represents five wineries, but hasn’t had a large dedicated space for tastings and sales.
A slab’s going down late this month for a 350 square metre facility that’s due to open next
‘‘This building will really cement our place as a wine tourism destination,’’ co-owner Christine Erkilla says.
‘‘And it is a tribute to the success and quality of our wine partners [Coal Pit, Hawkshead, Valli, Wild Irishman and its own Kinross label] and the wine tour companies we work with.’’
Though last year’s onset of Covid delayed the project, she says ‘‘we passionately believe people are going to flock to the wine tour companies who are going to bring people here, and
we need to be ready’’.
‘‘So this is a real vote of confidence.’’
Erkilla believes Kinross is unique in New Zealand in representing so many wineries, and notes ‘‘they’re winning awards left, right and centre’’.
Marketing manager Nicky Sygrove says the new facility will also help with their comprehensive wine education programme, delivered by ‘‘passionate’’ staff, which she says
Kinross is renowned for.
Co-owner John Erkilla, Christine’s hubby, says ‘‘if you’re going to be relevant in business, you’ve got to keep investing, and this is just the next iteration of what we’re doing’’.
He notes the cellar door will follow Gibbston’s character zone guidelines — ‘‘it’s the Central Otago barn look, and we’re using ‘pioneering’ schist’’ — while they’ll again employ local-based RMT Builders.
Kinross — named after pioneering Gibbston entrepreneur Thomas Kinross — also has a 14-room accommodation business that’s highly rated on Tripadvisor, and resource consent for another 20 up top.