Slice of NZ winemaking history for sale

NARELLE HENSON
Last updated 05:00 25/06/2014

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Te Kauwhata's 111-year-old winery is up for sale as its owners seek to free-up capital.

The building was the original research station for New Zealand's viticulture industry, built by the government in 1903 and under the direction of government viticulturalist Romeo Bragato, considered a key player in establishing New Zealand's fledgling wine industry.

Prime Commercial real estate agent Geoff Thorne said Bragato provided all of the technical support to the New Zealand wine industry during his tenure.

"[It] remained there as the government-appointed [research station] until 1992," he said.

"Then it got sold to Rongopai Wines, and they used the site until 2007 for their vinting and all that kind of thing"

The building was bought by current owners, TK Vinters and Bottlers, in June 2007. Mark Anderson and David Babich are listed as directors of TK Vinters and Bottlers. Babich is also a shareholder of Babich Wines Ltd, a long-standing wine company founded by Croatian immigrant Josip Babich in 1916.

Thorne said the company had upgraded the 1600 square metre premises.

While the buildings and land are for sale at $1.89 million plus GST, Thorne said the owners would consider an offer on the business as a going concern.

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