Central Otago and Queenstown Lake’s dramatic landscape and burgeoning wine industry is making an impression on the cast and crew of a romantic comedy being filmed in the Central/Lakes region.
The cast and crew have been spotted filming in Alexandra, Earnscleugh-Clyde, Gibbston Valley and briefly in Dunedin as part of production of Under the Vines.
AMC Networks streamer Acorn TV has teamed with TVNZ to commission the six part series which stars Rebecca Gibney, who starred in Wanted and Packed to the Rafters, and Charles Edwards, who featured in The Crown, The Terror, and Downton Abbey.
New Zealand-based Libertine Pictures and Australian-based EQ Media Group will produce the series.
Producer Carmen Leonard said the cast and crew have ‘‘loved’’ working and living in the region.
‘‘The friendly locals have welcomed us with open arms, the team are enjoying sampling the wonderful activities and events available in the area and are eternally grateful to be shooting in what is one of the most beautiful places in the world.’’
Leonard has also worked on Outrageous Fortune and The Casketeers.
Cast and crew have set up at a Central Otago hall, providing a base close to the set and other locations.
There are 31 cast members, only one of whom is not from New Zealand.
Of the crew, 80-100 are New Zealanders and only one key crew member is from overseas.
There are also up to 300 extras over the series – all local people from the region.
The series follows Edwards and Gibney as two unlikely city slickers who inherit a failing vineyard in rural New Zealand.
Gibney features as Sydney socialite Daisy Munroe, who heads to New Zealand for a vacation at her recently deceased stepfather’s winery, which she intends to sell.
Little does she know that the vineyard has a co-owner: grumpy UK-born lawyer, Louis Oakley (Edwards), who also travels to New Zealand to escape a spiralling series of unfortunate events in his life.
Neither have done a hard day’s work in their lives and both literally despise the other, but they must somehow make the vineyard successful so they can sell up, split up, and get out of there.
Alongside Gibney and Edwards, the series stars Dean O’Gorman (The Hobbit), Sara Wiseman (A Place to Call Home), John Bach (The Sounds), Matt Whelan (The Sounds), Simon Mead (Nothing Trivial), Sarah Peirse (Poor Boy), Cohen Holloway (Top of the Lake), Carrie Green (Mystic), Catherine Wilkin (Stateless), Robbie Magasiva (Wentworth) and actor/theatre producer Trae Te Wiki.