Foreign buyers snap up Marlborough vineyards

Foreign ownership of land in Marlborough continued to increase
DEREK FLYNN/FAIRFAX NZ

Foreign ownership of land in Marlborough continued to increase

Foreign companies continue to buy up land in Marlborough for vineyard expansion.

The Overseas Investment Office approved Australian owned company Accolade Wines New Zealand to buy 30 hectares at Delta Lakes Heights, near Renwick in April.

The land was previously owned by Wickham Family Trust, owners of Ormond Nurseries.

Ormond Nurseries manager Ben Wickham said the land had been owned by the company for several years and had become surplus to requirements.

Ormond had planted 4.25ha with pinot gris grapes, with the remaining land in forestry and for grazing, he said.

Accolade Wines viticulturist Stephen Dempster said the pinot gris grapes, part of  the existing fruit supply, would continue to be harvested under the company's Mud House label.

In January the OIO approved an application by Japanese-owned Lion Beer, Spirits and Wines (NZ) to buy 41.25ha of land on Rapaura Rd for $6.775 million as part of the company's Morten Estate buyout.

Last year foreign owners purchased and leased almost 1250ha of land in the region.

Among the largest acquisitions in 2014 was 740ha of the former Castlebrae vineyard, near Seddon, by the Ling Hai Group to be converted into a winery, accommodation and a 100ha vineyard.

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 - The Marlborough Express

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