Consent bid for new boutique winery


A Blenheim wine company has applied to the Marlborough District Council for resource consent to build a 250-tonne winery on Jacksons Rd.

Jackson Estate's application was lodged last week outlining the construction of a 2064 square metre winery, hosting centre and underground cellar. The proposed winery would be located 46 metres back from Jacksons Rd, between Old Renwick and Middle Renwick roads. It would be surrounded by 36 hectares of 25-year-old vines.

The company owns 40.6 hectares of land on the corner of Old Renwick Rd and Jacksons Rd, where Jackson Estate founder John Stichbury also owns a small property.

Jackson Estate managing director Jeff Hart said it was too early to make any comments as they were still "at the concept stage".

"[We] have not made any final decisions as to whether we proceed with the building," he said. "We are considering a number of options ranging from a hosting centre to a more comprehensive boutique pinot noir winery, details of which we are currently working through."

The consent application said the boutique winery would process "largely hand-picked grapes to produce high quality wines". Attached to the winery would be office space and a laboratory.

All tanks would be enclosed within the main winery building, however, bottling of wine would be done off-site.

Fifteen per cent of the fruit processed would be sourced from the surrounding vineyards and 85 per cent from other Jackson Estate vineyards.

Most bulk bottled wine would be stored in warehouses off-site though some would be stored in bottles and casks in a cellar under the winery.

The entrance, with signage, would be off Jacksons Rd and lead to 14 car parks.

The hosting centre would resemble a settlers' cottage and would include a cellar door. There would be no dining facilities, but there would be a kitchen for light food and refreshments for tasting functions. They would employ six permanent staff at the winery during non-vintage periods and up to an extra six staff over vintage.

The winery would help boost tourism, the application said.

"The quality of the wine tourism experience is made up of not only the larger wineries but equally as importantly the smaller boutique labels. The unique design and features of the proposed Jackson Estate hosting centre and its central location close to Blenheim, the airport and other well-known wineries will only add in a very positive way to the Marlborough wine tourism experience."

In 2013, Wellington businessman John Benton became a shareholder in Jackson Estate to ensure the company remained in New Zealand ownership.

The Marlborough Express