Pask Winery has been bought by a Wellington company that also owns Jackson Estate in Marlborough and plans to merge the two businesses.

The Benton Family Wine Group is owned by John Benton, the managing director of the Jarden Corporation which was established in the 1970s and developed into New Zealand's largest share broking and investment banking organisation at the time. He has been a director of companies in finance, property, insurance broking, mining and meat processing.

He will chair both winery businesses and Jeff Hart has been appointed managing director of both.

Mr Hart said Pask would undergo a restructure similar to Jackson after it was acquired in 2013, which lead to increased distribution and sales.


"Following the successful restructuring of Jackson Estate we can now turn our attention to revitalising the Pask brand and fully utilising the considerable Pask assets," he said.

"The merger will provide shared benefits through increased size, enhanced product range, and geographical diversity," he said.

Pask has a 1000 tonne winery on Omahu Rd and 60 ha of vineyards in the Gimblett Gravels.

Pask founder and the first person to plant a vineyard on the Gimblett Gravels, Chris Pask, will be Founding Director on the Pask Winery board.

Jeff Clarke has been appointed the Group's chief winemaker. He began his winemaking career in Australia, has been involved as head winemaker at Pernod Ricard and more recently Ara Wines.

"Jeff Clarke has an outstanding reputation for consistently producing world class wine," Mr Hart said.

"His appointment will build on the shareholder vision, direction, and standing of both brands.

"The merger comes on the back of the prestigious International Wine Challenge in London where Pask's 2014 Declaration Chardonnay won Gold and the Hawke's Bay Trophy, Pask's Declaration Syrah won a Gold medal, as did Jackson Estate's 2014 Vintage Widow Pinot Noir."


Pask's four vineyards are planted mainly with red varietals. Merlot, cabernet sauvignon, malbec, syrah and cabernet franc make up about 75 per cent of the planted area, with the balance in white varieties.

Jackson's winery specialises in pinot noir, also producing sauvignon blanc, riesling and chardonnay.

For the year to June New Zealand wine exports grew 6 per cent to a record $1.66billion.