Brennan Wines


The Tasting Room has been developed to allow people to join us here on the vineyard to taste our wines. Converted from our old vineyard shed, the tasting room maintains its rustic kiwi charm, while offering a comfortable, modern environment. The tasting room is located in the centre of the family vineyards with mountain views in all directions. Surrounded by vines, picnic areas and spectacular scenery, it is the perfect setting to enjoy a glass of Brennan Wine. We invite you to spend time here, enjoying the spaces we’ve created in the vineyards to discover what it is we do and how we create our wine.

Location Description

Located in Gibbston, 20 minutes from Queenstown.


  • Limited quantities of iconic wines.

Additional Information

  • Meeting / Conference Facilities:
  • Caves:
  • Wedding Facilities:
  • Picnic Facilities:
  • Dog Friendly:
  • Winery Tours:
  • Wine Tasting:
  • Art or Architecture:
  • Organic / Biodynamic:
  • Awards:
  • Wine Club:
  • Lodging / Bed & Breakfast:


Originally a native to New York, Sean spent much of his childhood in Gibbston and the surrounding area, where the family has had land for over 30 years. At an early age, Sean realised that he wanted to settle in this part of the world. Sean began his winemaking career in 1994, as the first vines were planted on the family vineyard in Gibbston.

For many years, the fruit on the Brennan Vineyards was sold to Peregrine Wines, while Sean was developing his winemaking skills. In early 2006, Sean moved to Gibbston permanently with his family, and launched the Brennan label.

From humble beginnings as a stock boy for a New York wine distributor, Sean immersed himself in the wine industry. Sean spent a number of years working vintages in the USA, Australia and New Zealand and in 2000 began his formal training at Adelaide University. During the 4 year course, he cemented an obsession with Pinot Noir, particularly those from New Zealand. After completing the course, Sean spent 2 years in the Adelaide Hills working with cool climate varieties, before finally making his return to the family vineyard. In March 2006, now with over 10 years winemaking experience, Sean returned to Gibbston with his young family, working the 2006 vintage at Gibbston Valley Wines. During this vintage, Sean was able to produce the first Pinot Noir under the Brennan Label and 2007 marked the release of the full range of Brennan Wines.


Founded in 2006.

The Team

Dave Laurent - Cellar Door Manager

Matt Almond - Junior Viticulturist

Murray Cowie - Vineyard Machinery Technician

Cathi Keenan - Office Manager / Sales

Gary Crabbe - Consulting Viticulturist

Phoebe - Vineyard Dog / Cellar Door Host

Practices & Techniques

At harvest, the grapes are picked into small crates and delivered directly to the onsite winery where they are processed immediately. The minimal handling and transport ensure that the fruit arrives at the winery in the best possible condition. Each bunch is hand sorted as it is processed by Sean, and only the highest quality fruit is accepted.

The equipment used in the winery requires a significant amount of manual input, however, this ensures that complete attention is paid to every part of the process. The red wines are fermented in stainless steel dairy vats which are insulated in order to retain the heat of the fermentation. Following post ferment maceration, the red wines are transferred to our underground cellar which offers perfect storage conditions for the oak barrels. White wines are fermented in both stainless steel and oak barrels. The white wine tanks are fitted with cooling apparatus to allow complete control over the temperature and rate of fermentation. When the grapes are pressed we use an axial bladder press, which allows for a quick, gentle extraction.

Estate Vineyards / AVA

The Brennan Family vineyards are situated in the Gibbston sub region of Central Otago along the eastern end of the Gibbston Back Rd. The original vineyard site was purchased in 1994 and planting began soon after. The site offers a wide variation of soils and aspects within a relatively small area. The six hectares planted range over lower alluvial flats through moderate to steeply sloping areas of lean, stony soils. In 2007 the Brennans were able to aquire a mature 4 hectare vineyard adjacent to the original block adding elevated flats to the the Brennan Vineyard site. This diversity through the vineyards is an instrumental factor in the development of layered complexity in our wines.

The Vines:

The 10 hectares of vines consist of about 8 hectares of Pinot Noir, just over a hectare of Pinot Gris, a half hectare of Gewürztraminer and very small plots of recently planted Tempranillo and Muscat. The majority of the vines are on own roots with the Tempranillo, Muscat and some of the later planted Pinot Noir on rootstock. Five different clones (115,5,6,667,777) make up the Pinot Noir plantings and each offers different characteristics to the final wine. With an average age of over ten years, our vines represent some of the more mature plantings in the region.


Brennan B2 Pinot Noir 2013

Royal Easter Show 2015 - GOLD

Brennan Pinot Noir 2007

IWSC - Gold Medal & Best in Class
Air New Zealand Wine awards - Elite Gold Medal
Royal Easter show - Silver Medal
Hong Kong Int'l wine & spirits - Silver Medal
Cuisine Magazine - 4.5 stars
Bob Campbell - 89/100

Brennan Pinot Noir 2008

IWSC - Silver Medal
IWC - Silver Medal
Air New Zealand Wine awards - Silver Medal
Cuisine Magazine - 4 stars
Michael Cooper - 4 stars
Bob Campbell - 85/100

Brennan Pinot Noir 2009

Cuisine Magazine October 2013 - 1st Place & 5 stars Pinot Noir tasting
Air New Zealand Wine awards - Gold Medal
Royal Easter show - Gold Medal
IWSC - Silver Medal
IWC - SIlver Medal
Bob Campbell - 91/100

Brennan Pinot Noir 2010

IWC - Gold Medal
Spiegelau - Gold Medal
IWSC - Silver Medal
NZ Int'l Wine show - Silver Medal
Winestate Magazine - 2013 Top 5 Pinot Noir Finalist - Australia & New Zealand
Michael Cooper - 4.5 stars
Cuisine Magazine - 4 stars

Brennan Pinot Noir 2011

Winestate Magazine - 4.5 stars

Royal Easter Show 2015 - Silver

Brennan B2 Pinot Noir 2010

New World Wine awards - Gold Medal
IWSC - SIlver Medal
Spiegelau - Silver Medal
Boutique Wine awards - Silver Medal
Winestate Magazine - 4 stars

Brennan B2 Pinot Noir 2011

IWC - Champion Red of show, International Pinot Noir Trophy, NZ Pinot Noir Trophy, NZ Red Wine Trophy
Royal Easter show - Champion Pinot Noir of Show
Spiegelau - Silver Medal

Brennan Pinot Gris 2009

Winestate Magazine - 4 stars
Wine Orbit - 91pts
Bob Campbell - 90/100

Brennan Gewürztraminer 2010

Michael Cooper - 4.5 stars
Wine Orbit - 90pts


1 Review
Rebecca Potez
Outstanding wines

Tucked away on the back road of Gibbston you'll find a wide range of outstanding and unusual wines for the region! Handmade by the owner and winemaker, Sean Brennan, they truly reflect season and place. A must visit when in Central Otago, NZ.

October 2016

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Daily: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm


86 Gibbston Back Road
Gibbston, Queenstown 9371
New Zealand

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