A highly productive Marlborough organic sauvignon blanc vineyard - which also contains modern chic premises housing a medical practice - has been placed on the market for sale.
The property, located in desirable and tightly held Rapaura, just north of Blenheim consists of some 7ha of established sauvignon blanc vine plantings which are BioGrow organic certified. Sitting among the vines is a four-year-old 208sq m designer home, which has been converted into a professional medical practice.
The vineyard is currently leased to a wine company, with the lessee paying rates, power, and insurance for the vineyard portion of the property – which sits in the heart of one of Marlborough’s premier sauvignon blanc production locales, the Wairau Plains.
With organic sauvignon blanc in high demand, the lease could easily be re-negotiated for a longer term or the new owner could add significant value and have wine made under a single vineyard label.
Meanwhile, a new lease could be negotiated with the medical practice or could be utilised by the purchaser if so desired. In total, the rectangular-shaped property is 8.25ha. The rural productive land, and land housing the medical centre are rated separately with Marlborough District Council.
The freehold land and buildings at 41 Murrays Road in Rapaura are now being marketed for sale through Colliers Marlborough, with offers closing on Tuesday 31 August. Sales Director Andy Poswillo says the property’s primary production and building assets offer a broad range of opportunities for any new owner in a premium location, close to Blenheim CBD, in the heart of the internationally acclaimed wine region.
“With dual revenue streams from two very different economic sectors, the greater property is one of the most rural-based diversified investment propositions you are likely to find anywhere in New Zealand,” Poswillo says.
“There is the opportunity for a new owner to negotiate a new lease for the property with the existing vineyard tenant, or to look at providing other wineries in the region, which are always on the lookout for securing more high-quality sauvignon blanc fruit.
“We have already had several wine companies – buoyed by the site’s BioGrow certification for producing organic high-quality sauvignon blanc grapes – interested in taking on the Murrays Road lease when it comes up for renewal. This interest will be made available to any new owner.
“Meanwhile, there is also the potential to negotiate a lease with the established medical centre, or to return the building to its residential designation for occupation. In its current commercial configuration, we believe it is the only such vineyard/medical centre property in New Zealand.”
Poswillo says the medical centre premises was originally designed as an upmarket north-facing four-bedroom home – with fully double glazed windows, open plan living and dining areas, ensuites attached to two of the bedrooms, and heat pumps. The single-storey building has its own car parking area and is fenced off from the vineyard activities.
“As a residential dwelling, the property would enjoy the privacy and ambience of being situated in the middle of working vineyard. The sizeable grassed front lawn could easily be further enhanced to lay in a swimming pool or al-fresco living areas without impacting on the working nature of the surrounding vines,” he says.
The Rapaura property’s vines were planted in 2007 and are irrigated by bore water drawn with resource consent to access up to 122 cubic metres daily. Commercial vineyard-related infrastructure on the property comprises a 140sq m Kiwispan shed constructed in 2013, and a 90sq m Kiwispan shed built in 2008. Both sheds sit on concrete pads and have power connections.
Latest data from viticulture representative body New Zealand WineGrowers Inc highlights that in the year ending June 2020, the viticulture sector achieved record export values of $1.92 billion alongside domestic sales of $500 million.
The organisation’s 2020 annual report noted that organic winegrowing practices in New Zealand were going “from strength to strength” with some 111 certified grape growers - including the Murrays Road property for sale - throughout the country and described domestic and international demand for organic wine as “strong”.
There are some 514 registered grape growers in the Marlborough region. New Zealand WineGrowers Inc figures show that the size of planted grape landholdings in Marlborough had increased from 19,024ha in 2011, to 27,808ha last year.
As New Zealand’s most commercially produced grape varietal, sauvignon blanc production reflected similar growth patterns – rising from 16,758ha planted in the variety throughout New Zealand in 2011, to 25,160ha in 2020. Concurrently, Marlborough’s harvested grape tonnage increased from 244,893 tonnes in 2011 to 345,036 tonnes in 2020.