Two vineyards put up for sale

A Marlborough winemaker and his Australian partners have put two Waihopai Valley vineyards on the market.

Marlborough Vintners owner Ant Moore, who owns a minority share in the vineyards, and Australian investors Matt Farrah, Simon Rees and Trent Birkett appointed Bayleys Marlborough viticulture sales specialist John Hoare to sell the neighbouring vineyards - one a 43-hectare block, the other 36ha.

At the time the Express went to print, Moore was overseas, but Marlborough Vintners chief executive officer Ben Halliday said Moore, Farrah, Rees and Birkett wanted to sell for various reasons.

"Basically because the interest picked up and vineyards are selling for reasonable prices, it was a good time to put them on the market and see what interest is out there."

The high value of the New Zealand dollar also motivated the Australian owners to sell, Halliday said.

The Australian investors had three other vineyards in Marlborough but would not be putting them on the market, he said.

"If they looked at it three years ago when the currency and prices were against us and then you look forward to now and things are selling and the prices are reasonable, so they thought they would put it out there to see.

"If they don't get the price they want, they will just sit tight."

The larger of the two vineyards had almost 38ha planted with sauvignon blanc and pinot gris. The second had 24 hectares planted in sauvignon blanc vines.

Moore obtained fruit from both vineyards for his self-titled label and hoped to be able to continue to do so after the sale, Halliday said.

Hoare said that together the vineyards produced 1300 tonnes for the 2014 vintage.

They were being sold with two diesel-powered frost protection wind machines, a staff building, pump shed, and an implement shed. The vineyards were jointly run under a single management and maintenance contract, which could either be continued, split, or dissolved, he said.

"The grape supply contracts at both vineyards can be continued or terminated by negotiation - meaning the holdings can be bought as managed investments or as further production sources for existing wineries wanting to increase their capacity in, and from, the Marlborough region."

The Marlborough Express