Move to liquidate contract winery

TRACY NEAL
Last updated 13:07 08/07/2014

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A Brooklyn contract winemaking company originally set up as a joint venture is now insolvent but its parent Anchorage Wines is safe, co-director Chris Drummond said.

Purple Dot, previously Torrent Bay Vintners, was placed in liquidation on June 27, but it had been a non trading company since February 2010 and the liquidation was simply a formality, Drummond said.

He and Owen Drummond were the only two directors. Liquidator Geoff Falloon of Biz Rescue is due to file the final report soon.

In 2007 Anchorage and Kahurangi - two of the region's larger wine companies, united to build the region's first contract winemaking facility, Torrent Bay Vintners Ltd.

The 1000-tonne winery at Brooklyn, near Motueka, was established for use by Anchorage and Kahurangi, as well as for other Nelson growers to process their grapes locally. The winery was created in a former apple packhouse, owned by Ray Drummond and family in Umukuri Rd, Brooklyn.

The joint venture ended with Anchorage Wines buying out Kahurangi Estate's half-share, including plant and equipment in 2010 and Torrent Bay Vintners began trading as Anchorage Wines.

Chris Drummond said the vintner company had been wound up for a lot of reasons but essentially it had been a non-trading company for a few years.

"February 2010 was the last time it did anything - it's just been sitting there."

Drummond said the company did owe Anchorage "a lot money", but the liquidation was a mere formality that would also wipe book debt. "We just have to move on now. There was never any way it [the debt] was going to be paid back and we have to liquidate the company to get it off the register."

Drummond said Anchorage, which operated with four staff, would carry on and has plans to grow in existing export markets in Australia, Hong Kong, China, Britain and the United States where it had recently secured new distributors.

Property development firm Matariki Developments has been placed in liquidation owing more than $400,000.

Liquidator Geoff Falloon of Biz Rescue said in his final report that there were no assets to dispose of, with the land and equipment having already been distributed.

Fico Finance was the only secured creditor and Inland Revenue a preferential creditor.

IRD penalties and interest totalling almost $4000 fell under the unsecured creditors category, along with land engineering consultancy firm Golder Associates, the ANZ bank and Westport form Electro Services which was owed almost $14,000.

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- The Nelson Mail

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