A piece of New Zealand's viticulture history has been placed on the market for sale.

The property at 55 Te Kauwhata Road is tenanted by Invivo Wines & Co and operates as a fully operational wine-making facility.

Barfoot & Thompson Commercial agent Ben Johnson, who is marketing the property for sale by tender, closing 4pm on October 17, says: "This is a fantastic low maintenance, high yielding investment which is leased to a strong performing, high calibre tenant which is recognised and awarded both on local and international platforms. Further development and growth within the Te Kauwhata area will create more future opportunities for this well positioned property."

The fee simple property offers 10,390sq m of land, zoned for Country Living, and has a current rental return of $184,178.00 net per annum plus GST with an upcoming CPI rental increase in January 2020.


"Furthermore, the Te Kauwhata area continues to gain momentum with recent zoning changes and as a result is experiencing large scale housing developments and strong rejuvenation," says Johnson.

Te Kauwhata is one of the Waikato's fastest growing regions. The area also offers affordable housing and excellent proximity to Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga via State Highway 1. In June 2018 the Government announced that the Waikato District Council would receive a $38 million, 10 year interest free loan from the $1 billion dollar Housing Infrastructure Fund to support the township. This investment is aimed at supporting approximately 3,000 new affordable houses, expanding the water supply and building a new wastewater treatment plant, amongst other projects in the area.

The site was commissioned by the New Zealand Government and constructed in 1902 as part of the Te Kauwhata Viticulture Research Station under the expert direction of Romeo Bragato (New Zealand's first government viticulturist). Its purpose was to be the country's first viticulture research station where Romeo sought to unlock the secrets of the New Zealand soil. His
goal was to establish grape varietals that would thrive in the local climate.

The site was operated as a research and wine making facility with the first wines from Te Kauwhata produced in 1903. Later the property became home to one of New Zealand's oldest wine brands, Rongopai Wines from 1932 to 2007.

In 2002, the site celebrated its centenary and the original Rongopai winery – then under the ownership of BAA Holdings Limited – and was restored to mark the occasion.

Johnson points out that this is arguably New Zealand's most iconic winery and regarded by many as the most important place in the country's vinous history to date.