The land, equipment, buildings, and hospitality business of one of New Zealand's first wineries have been placed on the market for sale.
Pioneering Vidal Estate vineyard was established in Hawke's Bay in 1905 by young Spanish immigrant Anthony Joseph Vidal.
Vidal planted grapes in Hastings and set about establishing a wine empire with its base stretching across the nearby Te Awanga and Te Mata plains.
Now, 113 years later, the foundations of the Vidal empire — in a location surrounded by residential dwellings — are for sale, as the brand looks to move its production plant to a new multimillion-dollar location at the Te Awa Winery and Restaurant, on SH50.
The freehold Vidal Estate Winery property at 904-908 Avenue Road East, Hastings, consists of 8592sq m of land sustaining 3670sq m of fully working winery, along with the adjacent large-scale restaurant and function/event-hosting amenity trading as the Vidal Estate Winery Restaurant.
A further 1872sq m of land, which holds five houses generating total annual rent of $52,000, forms part of the sale. Other residential accommodation on-site has a potential income of $41,600 per annum.
The asset portfolio is being marketed for sale by tender through Bayleys Hawke's Bay, with tenders closing on March 7, 2018. The property and assets feature in Bayleys' latest Total Property magazine out this month but the Vidal brand name is not part of the offering.
Bayleys Hawke's Bay salesperson Paul Garland says the dynamics and scale of the property, buildings, and infrastructure, mean there are numerous future uses for the Vidal Estate portfolio.
"The Avenue Rd East location is far more than just a winery or restaurant/function centre," Garland says.
"The most obvious plan would be to continue both the winery and restaurant/function room operations as-is, but under a under a new name, in a vertically-integrated business model where the wine is made and sold on-site to guests hosted in semi-industrial character surrounds.
"Alternatively, a new joint-ownershipmodel could see a winery label using the winery amenities, and a separate hospitality entity running the restaurant and function venue — with both reliant on each other as marketing points of difference and sales channels.
"Or the entire portfolio could be secured by an entrepreneur/investor who could purchase the location and assets, then lease out the two revenue streams to specialists.
"That would leave any new owner the potential to bring on-board additional retail tenants such as a craft brewer, cidery, honey farm or perhaps a gourmet foodstore; which again could both work simultaneously together by broadening out the location's food and beverage destination appeal. Prospective purchasers should make their own inquiries to Hastings City Council regarding zoning and usage.
"Either way, the buildings, equipment and chattels in place allow for the Vidal Estate assets to be purchased with a new owner having what is needed to continue producing award winning wine under a new brand name.
Garland says the Vidal portfolio can be sold with the option of a long settlement period stretching out to the third-or-fourth quarters of 2018.
Alternatively, Vidal Estate Winery is open to settling on a sale earlier, then leasing back the plant and venue by negotiation to complete the 2018 harvest season, and to simultaneously deliver on a substantial number of functions and restaurant sittings already booked in over the corresponding summer and autumn periods.
First winery restaurant
Sir George Fistonich's Vidal Estate Winery Restaurant was New Zealand's first 'winery restaurant' when it was opened by Sir Robert Muldoon in 1979.
This set a trend has since become commonplace across the country's wine-producing regions.
Over the years, the 200-person venue has broadened its marketing appeal to both leisure and corporate sectors.
The licensed Aubyn St premises features three separate function locations — a small tasting room handling both retail sales and gatherings of up to 30 people, the character-filled and working barrel storage room capable of hosting up to 38 seated or 70 standing guests, and the main restaurant/function room with a seating capacity of 80 seated and another 40 within the conservatory. The venue has sealed car parking for about 70 vehicles.
Vidal Estate's winery has historically produced 1200 tons of wine per season — equivalent to about 96,000 cases.
Garland says the equipment and infrastructure being sold in the Vidal Estate Winery portfolio will enable the successful buyer to operate from a 500-600 tonne boutique winery.
"All they need is a new brand name. Under a new ownership model, there is ample opportunity to increase production from the winery by sourcing contract-grown grapes from within Hawke's Bay, or crushed juice from outside the region," Garland says.
The Vidal Estate Winery Restaurant and function centre sits within a 1855sq m ground level space with an additional 198sq m of al-fresco dining courtyard area — both served by an 50sq m commercial-grade kitchen.
The commercial-grade stainless steel kitchen features a 7.5sq m walk-in chiller unit with shelving, a combi' oven, gas hob hot plate section, large oven, overhead grillers, and deep fryer — all under a full length stainless steel extraction canopy hood with fans. Commercial-grade dishwashing and rinsing units are also part of the chattels.
Front of house chattels include scores of rectangular and round tables, formal seats, along with all glassware, crockery and cutlery, and point of sale systems.
In addition to the commercial buildings and supporting chattels, the property encompasses five separate dwellings configured in two and three-bedroom premises.
The homes are on a block bordered by Aubyn St East, Park Rd North, and Avenue Rd East.
"Under any new hospitality/function centre business model, these assets could easily be converted into a lodge or village styled accommodation entity," Garland says.
"With a shortage of dwellings in Hawke's Bay the underlining residential zoning of the winery could also be of interest to residential property developers."