$1m upgrade for Grove Mill under Foley
Foley Family Wines has taken over Grove Mill and will build up the company in Blenheim, chief executive Mark Turnbull said yesterday.
The investment includes a $1 million spend in Marlborough.
Shareholders had been promised a 90-day action plan for the company, he said, and the restructuring of the different parts of the company was under way. That would involve building up the company in Blenheim, with 90 per cent of its operations to be based at Grove Mill's winery near Renwick.
Upgrading of the winery is expected to be carried out over the summer. At a shareholders' meeting last month, directors said $1m would be spent on upgrades.
NZ Wine Company shareholders voted last month to merge their company with American businessman Bill Foley's New Zealand wine company, and it was approved by the Overseas Investment Office a week later.
The merger effectively gave Foley Family Wines, owned by Mr Foley and his family, control of the Grove Mill winery and brand. Mr Foley also owns Vavasour, Clifford Bay Wines, and Te Kairanga brands, and Wharekauhau luxury lodge in the Wairarapa.
Foley Family Wines this week launched its online wine company thesociety.co.nz and yesterday an email newsletter was sent to 3500 people who had signed up to join the Wharekauhau Food and Wine Society to alert them.
The online wine site sells quality wines, not just those of the Foley Family portfolio, Mr Turnbull said.
"The Wharekauhau Food and Wine Society brand is to be developed as a symbol of quality. It will be on all Foley Family wines."
The site would not discount wine, as most other sites did, he said, but it would operate a loyalty scheme that rewarded purchasers with "society dollars" that could be used with a range of partners, such as hotels and restaurants.
"Most wine sold online is just a discount to make it move. Our goal is to create a value proposition . . . we're not discounters."
- The Marlborough Express