River Farm properties sold

The two vineyards owed by Marlborough District councillor David Dew's River Farm companies have sold.

The properties, at 111 Ben Morven Rd, in Fairhall, and 36 Godfrey Rd, in Renwick, were auctioned on Friday. The Godfrey Rd property sold for $1.2 million at auction, and the other property was passed in, but later sold for $1 million.

The two vineyards were the last assets of Mr Dew's River Farm Wines and River Farm Holdings companies, which he put into liquidation in March. Information from Terralink shows Mr Dew paid $1.65 million for the Ben Morven Rd property in August 2007, and $2.48 million for the Godfrey Rd property in July 2009.

Bayleys Marlborough agent John Hoare, who marketed the properties, said both of the River Farm vineyards had sold to Marlborough people already involved in the wine industry.

Another vineyard property in Friday's sale, at 440 Brancott Rd, Fairhall, was passed in at $450,000, but negotiations were under way and Mr Hoare said he expected it to sell this week.

A fourth property for auction was dairy farmland at 21 Para Rd in Koromiko. It was passed in at $450,000, but was sold afterwards to a Marlborough farmer, Mr Hoare said.

Interest in the properties was high, with about 200 people at the auction. Auctioneer Glenn Dick said there had been "good, spirited bidding".

Mr Hoare said there had been a good crowd and a lot of interest in the properties.

"There are people looking to buy now, and the banks are willing to lend to some people, now too, so properties are selling again."

Mr Dew declined to comment on Friday, saying he had not been told the details: "If they've sold, well, at least that's done."

The Marlborough Express