Grapes of wrath in Gibbston


Gibbston’s neighbours at war will no longer be neighbours - but they’re still at war.

Nicola Field and partner Andrew Dalziel have moved on from the Gibbston Tavern, after Field’s company Camp Creek Ltd sold up.

Remarkable Wines’ Richard Guthrey, who has tasting rooms next door on Coal Pit Road, has also sold up, to the same buyer.

It means they no longer have to share the air, or water.

But both parties are still involved in a civil dispute which is due to go before the courts in January.

It’s another round in their clash over water access rights. One matter on the same issue was decided by the High Court in Field’s favour, with Guthrey told to pay costs.

But Guthrey, 68, says: “The relationship between me and the previous owner has been rather disastrous.

“I’m still proceeding with litigation against them.”

Guthrey claims his water supply was cut off. “We’re seeking damages.”

Guthrey went to criminal court earlier this year, charged with common assault after a tussle over glasses with Field.

The charge was eventually dropped and Guthrey demanded an apology from the cops.

Dalziel, speaking on behalf of Field, says Camp Creek Ltd lawyers say Guthrey can’t claim because he’s sold the property.

“His water supply was never cut off and now he’s sold so he’s got no grounds,” Dalziel says.

“He’ll withdraw proceedings before the January date. Our barrister’s laughing at him. He should have cut a deal with us over costs before he sold.”

Dalziel says costs from the original High Court case will amount to about $28,000 and they expect to be paid two-thirds of that.

New tavern owner Gemma Finlay says both parties were easy to deal with and the property “ticks all the boxes”.

“It’s lovely here. I’ve got a few plans - I’m just trying to finalise them.”

Guthrey plans to open new tasting rooms at his ’boutique winery’ in Bannockburn, but will lease the Gibbston rooms until March.

In 2012, his company was ordered to pay $16,000 after breaking the conditions of a resource consent while digging up the historic site to create the Gibbston tasting rooms.

The company failed to inform the regional archaeologist that work had begun. When Queenstown archaeologist Andrew Winter made a random visit he found about 100 artefacts piled on spoil heaps.

The tasting room cafe was then forced to close in August by food hygiene inspectors due to evidence of mice on the premises.