Vineyard sales a sign of rising demand

Five vineyards have sold during the past month, with the market starting to rise with spirits in the wine industry.

Among the vineyard sales were three in the Waihopai Valley, including one which sold to an Australian family with wine interests in the Goulburn Valley, in Victoria.

The Overseas Investment Office decision summary said two companies owned by Australian John Valmorbida and family had bought a 45-hectare vineyard on Waihopai Valley Rd in August, with one buying 24 per cent of the vineyard for $654,000 and the other buying the remaining 76 per cent for an undisclosed amount.

Valmorbida is reported to own Mitcheltown winery in the Goulburn Valley, and also significant food and beverage business interests in Australia.

Bayleys Marlborough agent John Hoare, who sells rural land including vineyards, said two other Waihopai Valley vineyards sold last month.

The Pear Tree vineyard, in Tyntesfield Rd, sold for $6.050 million and the Duck N Pheasant vineyard, in Waihopai Valley Rd, sold for $3.78m. The two vineyards were adjoining, and are understood to have sold to a New Zealand wine business seeking to expand its business.

Two more sold last week, with an 11ha vineyard in Rapaura Rd selling for $2.2m, and a 7.5ha sauvignon blanc vineyard in Rowley Cres selling for $1.36m at auction.

Hoare said both those properties sold to Marlborough grape industry people, one wanting to increase their family holdings and the other in the industry who now wanted to own their own vineyard.

Alexander Hayward Ltd registered valuer David Stark said the vineyard property market was much more positive now.

There had been a slow rise in property values and prices achieved in sales as the outlook for the wine industry was "a little more" positive, he said.

However, the interest was quite specific and didn't apply across the whole Marlborough district, Stark said.

Sauvignon blanc vineyards were largely the attractive prospects for buyers, and the main demand at the moment was for that variety of grapes.

There was a wider interest in vineyards than there had been a year ago, and that interest was coming from parties "right across the board", Stark said, including individuals as well as wine companies seeking to secure supply. Wine companies were "quite specific" in what they were looking for and knew what they wanted, he said.

"In general, we see it as some positive vibes."

The Marlborough Express