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Wine geezer: Sam Neill's selling his 'The First Paddock' vineyard at Gibbston. PICTURE: CHRISTOPHER DAVID THOMPSON/TWO PADDOCKS

By GUY WILLIAMS

Kiwi actor Sam Neill’s putting his original vineyard, Gibbston’s ‘The First Paddock’, on the block.

The A-lister and founder of the Two Paddocks wine company tells Mountain Scene he’s  selling the ‘‘beautiful’’ 8.3-hectare Gibbston Back Road property reluctantly.

‘‘Two Paddocks is expanding and diversifying, and rationalising some aspects of what we do,’’ Neill says.

The certified organic vineyard’s 4.6ha of pinot noir vines have produced many award-winning wines, but ‘‘it’s just a little far from our core business near Alexandra and Bannockburn’’.

Neill, who’s currently filming overseas, says with a portion of the vines nearly 30 years old, the vineyard produces some of New Zealand’s best pinot.

The property has ‘‘immense lifestyle potential’’, with the remaining 3.2ha of land ripe for
planting or development.

Planted by Two Paddocks in 1993, the vineyard produced its first vintage in 1997.

The company’s since bought three more vineyards in Bannockburn and the Alexandra Basin.

Two Paddocks general manager Jacqui Murphy says the vineyard’s consistently produced
some of the best fruit for the company.

The wine made from it’s been internationally recognised, including being among a handful of NZ wines to receive 95 points in Wine Spectator, Murphy says.

Going on sale today, The First Paddock’s being marketed exclusively by Colliers.

Colliers rural and agribusiness director Ruth Hodges says such properties rarely become available.

There’s potential for a new owner to earn income from the vineyard while enjoying an ‘‘idyllic’’ rural lifestyle close to Queenstown, Hodges says.

Potential options for the property, which sits on one title inside the Gibbston character zone, include building a new home, subdivision, grazing, expanding the vineyard or some combination of those.

The vineyard’s been certified fully organic since 2017.

Although its oldest vines were planted in 1993, it’s had a staged replanting programme since 2008.

The First Paddock’s being mar keted by deadline private treaty, closing on November 17 at 2pm, unless sold prior.

guy.williams@scene.co.nz