Romance is growing in the vineyards of Central Otago.
Kiwi actor Rebecca Gibney has started filming her new miniseries, Under the Vines. The 6-part romantic comedy has been commissioned by TVNZ and Acorn Films and also stars Charles Edwards, 51, of The Crown and Downton Abbey fame.
The dashing UK actor landed in Queenstown, after completing MIQ just days before filming started on Tuesday.
Dunedin-based Gibney, 56, says she is a sucker for romantic comedies.
The Packed to the Rafters' star plays Daisy Munroe, a Sydney socialite, who has fallen on hard times and is left with a failing New Zealand vineyard. Daisy heads to New Zealand for a vacation at her recently deceased stepfather's winery, which she intends to sell.
She is dumbfounded on arrival when she realises 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.
Despite neither having done a hard day's work in their lives and both despising each other, Munroe and Oakley must somehow make the vineyard successful so they can sell up.
Gibney posted a picture of her and cast and crew, including Edwards, with wine and cheese of course.
She told her social media followers she had not slept in days before the first day of filming as she was so wound-up.
Alongside Gibney and Edwards, the series stars Dean O'Gorman (Pork Pie), 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 newcomer Trae Te Wiki - one to watch .
Gibney is also an executive producer of the miniseries, which is expected to have a large global release later this year. Cate Slater, TVNZ director of content, says the show is an exciting TVNZ co-production that will showcase New Zealand's stunning scenery, a fabulously talented cast and crew, and great scripts.
"Co-productions give us the ability to tell our stories on a global stage and we're excited to bring viewers a premium drama that will feel distinctly Kiwi," says Slater.