Boutique winery gets Hobbit-style spin
A new boutique winery outside Renwick designed by The Hobbit's art director has been granted resource consent by the Marlborough District Council.
Jackson Estate, one of the oldest wineries in Marlborough, is behind the winery on vineyard land at Jacksons Rd.
It will be capable of producing 250 tonnes of grapes per year.
A council resource hearing committee heard the application in April and has granted the application a five-year consent.
The Hobbit trilogy's art director Brian Massey is designing the hosting centre which will look like a 1850s settlers' hut.
The hut will have a hobbit-hole wine display room, with the barrel hall behind it.
A Hobbiton-style grass mound will screen the eight-space car park.
The winery would make the top one per cent of the Jackson Estate wine portfolio.
The barrel-based winery would focus on hand-crafted pinot noir and a small batch of barrel-fermented chardonnay and savignon blanc.
Submissions from Roger and Dianne Jordan, of Willowhaugh Enterprises Ltd, argued the winery was too close to their family farm and should be further north near the Stitchbury Homestead of Jackson Estate brand ambassador John Stitchbury.
The Jordans said the intersection at Jacksons Rd and Old Renwick Rd was an accident hot spot and winery traffic would add to the problem.
They argued additional traffic would compromise their ability to move stock along Jacksons Rd between paddocks.
The committee said Jackson Estate had demonstrated the boutique winery was small in scale and the three to four large truck movements over harvest would not be noticeable.
Marlborough Roads have purchased a portion of property at the intersection that will allow them to remove the trees along both roads at the junction, significantly improving traffic safety.
Jackson Estate will also pay for a significant section of Jacksons Rd to be widened and resealed, improving traffic conditions.
The committee said the winery would only have a minor effect on the intersection's traffic.
Granting resource consent, the committee said they were satisfied the effects of the operation of the winery and cellar doors would not have more than minor adverse effects.
Jackson Estate managing director Jeff Hart said at the April hearing the feel of the winery was "old world" and aligned with their heritage.
Marlborough needed better attractions to entice more international visitors, Hart said.
"This requires wineries of all sizes to further invest into the industry, beyond just vineyards and large-scale wineries. What we are proposing is as much an attraction for the international tourists as it is a winery."
- The Marlborough Express