Gibbston "de Vine" cycle tour operator Greg McIntyre makes
a stop at the Mt Rosa Winery in the Gibbston valley, with
trainee tour guide Matthew Fallaver and David and Chava
Oved, both of Los Angeles. Photo by Joe Dodgshun.
Retro-style bikes, picnic lunches, beautiful scenery and,
of course, world-renowned Gibbston Valley wines are the hook of
the new Gibbston "de Vine" cycle tours.
Run by the Picnic Bike Tour Company - an offshoot of mountain
bike guiding company Fat Tyre Adventures - the
"cruiser-style" three-speed-bike tours are aimed at couples,
families and groups.
Traversing back roads, vineyard trails and the recently
completed Gibbston River Trail, the tours stop by a selection
of cellar doors and for a picnic along the way.
Owner-operator Greg McIntyre said the venture was not aimed
at "big winos" but was instead a relaxed trip for people who
enjoy both the outdoors and "the odd tipple".
He said the trips, which began a few weeks ago but are yet to
have their official launch, came about after he spotted an
opportunity for such an experience around Gibbston.
"It would be silly if I was just going to open up another
operation up at the Bike Park, and here, instead, it is
filling a lot of gaps in the recreational market ... so we
have on one side the full-on downhill, and here, the biking."
Mr McIntyre said the Picnic Bike Tour Company was, as far as
he was aware, the only operator with concession for the
Gibbston River Trail.
He hoped the tours of up to eight people could run for close
to nine months of the year, with one to two tours a day, at
least for the first year.
• Industry representatives at a wine and winery tourism forum
last week said Queenstown was underselling itself in that
market, compared to Australia.
Destination Queenstown marketing general manager Graham Budd
said at the forum the aim was to start using wine as the
"primary driver" to attract people to Queenstown and the
wider region. He said yesterday that while experiences like
the cycle tour were not part of the "true wine experience",
they were nonetheless part of an overlapping and
"There's lots of synergy and lots of overlapping with all of
these things and, at the end of the day, they are all going
to enhance the overall experience."