The Wairarapa wine sector is on a roll, with several new players recently investing in the region and some of the larger established companies making or planning significant new investments.
And Wairarapa has also become a hot visitor destination, particularly since lockdown as New Zealanders have discovered the charms of this compact wine region.
Against this backdrop, Colliers International has been appointed as sales agents for two attractive vineyard properties – one near Martinborough and the other in Gladstone.
193 Dry River Road, Martinborough
The two properties are in separate ownership but would be complementary for a wine company or winemaker looking to establish a boutique 150 to 200 tonne wine business in the Wairarapa. They can also be purchased individually.
- The Gladstone property is located on Dakins Road with well-established neighbours including Urlar, Borthwick Vineyard, Schubert, Gladstone Vineyard and Cottier Estate. The 19.65ha property currently operates as a 150-tonne winery and vineyard with approximately 9.9ha planted in pinot noir, pinot gris, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and merlot. An additional 5.3ha is currently unplanted but has vineyard infrastructure including trellis and irrigation in place so it could be replanted if required.
- The 8ha Stonecrop Vineyard on Dry River Road, Martinborough has a reputation for producing premium quality wines from its mature vines. The vineyard, which is accredited by Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand, is planted with pinot noir (4ha) and sauvignon blanc (2.5ha).
Mike Laven, the viticultural specialist at Colliers International, says this is a great opportunity for a wine company or winemaker to establish a new operation in a fully equipped winery with almost 10ha planted at Gladstone and 6.5ha in Martinborough, and expansion potential for another 5ha on the Gladstone property.
“Although much of the focus in the New Zealand wine sector is on Marlborough sauvignon blanc, there are some great things happening in the Wairarapa. Compared to Marlborough where prime Rapaura vineyard properties are selling for close to $300,000 per hectare, the cost of establishing a wine operation in the Wairarapa is a fraction of the price.
“For a relatively low entry cost, this is a rare opportunity for a winemaker or wine company to hit the ground running, buying an established productive vineyard and winery.”
143 Dakins Road, Gladstone
Recent arrivals into the Wairarapa wine scene include Brad and Warren Butterworth who purchased Julicher Estate and have rebranded the business as Butterworth Estate. Leveraging their reputation in the sailing world, the new owners have refreshed the brand putting their names to new wines to come from Julicher Vineyard. As well as the Butterworth Estate Collection of wines, they will also produce a regional series called ‘Layline by Butterworth’.
Other recent developments include:
- Craggy Range’s purchase of 250ha of bare land on Te Muna Road and planting of sauvignon blanc and pinot noir principally for export to US markets. They now own over 400ha in Martinborough and are seeing strong demand for their Martinborough sauvignon blanc;
- Escarpment Vineyard has been sold to Torbreck Vintners – one of Australia's best-known, high-quality red wine makers owned by Californian entrepreneur and vintner Peter Kight;
- Urlar Estate (neighbour to the Dakins Road Vineyard and Winery) was sold to a subsidiary of Nishi Sake Brewing, a leading Shochu producer from Kagoshima in Japan;
- Foley Family Wines has recently announced a new multimillion-dollar complex at Te Kairanga Vineyard in Martinborough including a 100-seat restaurant, an underground barrel facility, tasting rooms and a gin distillery.
Dakins Road Winery and Vineyard, and Stonecrop Vineyard are for sale by negotiation. Details are available from Mike Laven.