Boutique Gisborne vineyard Vinoptima Estate has debts of around $15 million, the receiver's first report shows, far short of assets which are listed with a cost value of $9.2m, potentially meaning it will be unable to repay creditors and shareholders.

The business founded by Nick Nobilo who is the managing director, owes $11.95m to shareholders and those with cross guarantees and a further $3.1m to unsecured creditors, the report says.

Andrew McKay of BDO in Auckland was appointed along with Andrew Bethell by an unnamed party on August 20.

Read more: Vinoptima in receivership, now up for sale


The report has just revealed financial details of the business founded in 2000 and which has around 100,000 litres of the premium wine in bottles and vats.

That shows what went wrong for the business, said to be New Zealand's premium gewurztraminer vineyard, whose bottles sold for around $75 each.

"The wine produced has received critical acclaim but sales have been slow, particularly as the previous distributor into China stopped operations despite having entered into a multi-year distribution agreement with Vinoptima," the report said.

"The result of poor sales affected trading operations and incurred trading losses. The company was reliant on shareholder support to fund ongoing trading. A proposal for a new Chinese agent was negotiated in June. however there remained a lack of confirmed orders," McKay's report said.

Assets are listed as cost value, as they appeared on Vinoptima's books.

Related party receiveables appear at $5m, the land and buildings at $977,000, the plant and equipment at $955,000 and cash at $4000 cash. Total assets appear in the report at $9.2m.

The vineyard business is being sold via Bayleys in a tender which closes in early December and McKay said he is open to all options: selling the property separately or including the wine in that sale.

McKay earlier today estimated unsecured or trade creditors as being owed $1.8m but has since revised that.


How much he can recover for those with securities is uncertain because he said that all depends on how much he gets for the unsold wine stock, the land and the vineyard business.

Kevin Courtney of Riverby Estate in Marlborough has estimated the Vinoptima wine might only be worth $3.50/L to $4.50/L and far short of the $75 it was selling a 750ml bottle for.

Courtney said the wine produced by Vinoptima was for an extremely small or niche premium market.

McKay's reports lists employees as being owed $21,000, Inland Revenue $7000 and NZ Customs $50,000.

"The process of realising the company's assets is not yet complete and therefore it is too early to determine whether there are likely to be any funds available for unsecured creditors," the report said.