The first vineyard and winery in New Zealand to be established purely for the production of the niche gewürztraminer grape variety is for sale through a receivership process.
The Vinoptima freehold land and buildings at 138 Ngakoroa Rd, Ormand - about 26km northwest of Gisborne - are being marketed for sale in receivership, with tenders closing through Bayleys Gisborne at 4pm on December 6.
Vinoptima Estate vineyard and winery at was established in 2000 using fivegewürztraminer clones planted in soils high in magnesium and boron.
The Vinoptima Estate vineyard now consists of two blocks producing good yields — one of 5.35ha of productive land planted in 2007 that sustains 10,775 plants; the other comprising 5.11ha of productive land planted in 2000 and sustaining 10,455 plants.
Vinoptima's 533sq m winery was built in 2003. It contains a crushing plant, bottling room with its own air conditioning unit, walk-in chiller, storage facilities, and a self-contained manager/winemaker's residence.
Simon Bousfield and Damian Campbell of Bayleys Gisborne say Vinoptima is classified as a "self-contained" viticulture operation — only using grapes grown within its vineyards, and bottling on-site. It also has potential to expand the operation and introduce other grape varieties.
Many of the winery's storage tanks were custom-built for Vinoptima and are arranged in an 'amphitheatre' configuration within the winery building to enable one person to undertake the entire winemaking process from a central position.
Campbell says there is the distinct potential that the vineyard might be purchased by a bigger competing wine label purely for its gewürztraminer plantings, or alternatively for the land, infrastructure, and winery plant — with the option of planting in a new grape variety to replace gewürztraminer, broaden the operation, or target new markets.
Gewürztraminer grape plantings now account for less than 0.5 per cent of vine plantings in New Zealand — and 0.1 per cent of wine exports.
Wine production data reveals most gewürztraminer vines are in Marlborough, Gisborne and Hawke's Bay.
"That statistic could prompt an assumption that there is a huge potential for the grape and little competition in the market," Campbell says.
"The operation, as a producer of a 'boutique' varietal, has a high degree of customer following and market presence established over 15 years."
Bousfield says the northern block has been pruned over winter, and was leased for the 2018/19 season.
"After that it could revert to a new owner."