Clutch of Nelson agribusinesses on market

2:17 PM Wednesday October 22, 2014 Colin Taylor

Entrance to Kaimira Winery in Brightwater

A cluster of income-producing agricultural and viticulture land holdings in the Nelson region have come onto the market simultaneously with the intention of having new owners in place in time to capitalise on the various 2015 harvest seasons.

Two high profile wineries, a large scale hop growing and processing operation, and an apple and kiwifruit orchard and packhouse are all up for sale across the region – each for different reasons.

Combined, the quartet of primary production ventures has an asking price of almost $32 million.

The four businesses include:

  • Kahurangi Estate winery in Upper Moutere – a 12 hectare vineyard and full winery with current capacity to crush and process 850 tonnes of grapes annually and potential to grow. Plus a standalone contract bottling and storage operation and national liquor distribution business. Asking price $10 million.
  • Sunrise Hops in Upper Moutere– a 53 hectare planting which was once the largest hop garden in New Zealand, and last year produced 120 tonnes of hops. Asking price $10 million.
  • Swamp Road Orchard just north of Motueka– a 31.75 hectare fruit bowl growing apples, hops and kiwifruit, serviced by a full packing shed and coolstore complex. Asking price $7million.
  • Kaimira Winery in Brightwater – a 19 hectare vineyard and modern organic certified winery with the capacity to process 300 tonnes of grapes. Asking price $4.5 million.

The four primary production operations are all being marketed for sale by Bayleys Nelson. Salesperson Rob Wallace said different motivations were behind the sales of the businesses.

“All four businesses wanted to have their 2014 harvests either in the tanks, bottled up, bagged up and shipped off to the breweries, or picked and sent to market before they brought the locations onto the market for sale,” Wallace said.

“With standard due diligence procedures and settlement dates potentially taking some four months to conclude, the vendors are looking at settlements early in the New Year – allowing new owners to be well entrenched for harvests at the end of summer.

“The owners of all four ventures have also left the opportunity open to negotiate variable ‘hand-over’ periods to assist any new operators to familiarise themselves if needs-be with the nuances of their respective commercial endeavours.”

Wallace said the two wineries being marketed for sale were clearly taking advantage of the current bouyant viticulture property market in Nelson and Marlborough.

“In recent months Bayleys has concluded the sale of winery development land at Clifford Bay to one of New Zealand’s biggest independent wine labels, and the successful sale of two high yielding Waihopai Valley vineyards to another long-established New Zealand wine label,” he said.

“The owners of Sunrise Hops are simply looking at retiring after successfully running the business for some 40 plus years. The business is being sold inclusive of share in New Zealand Hops Limited – the co-operative marketing and sales body for most of this country’s hop producers.

“The incredible rise in the popularity of New Zealand craft and boutique beers over the past four years has seen Sunrise Hops constantly having its order books full before the end of the harvest. And with the craft beer market reflecting the biggest growth of any beer sector in the retail market, there is every indication that this trend will continue for quite some years to come.”

Hop varieties produced from the plantation include Green Bullet, Cascade, Nelson Sauvin, Pacific Gem, Pacific Jade, Pacifica, Southern Cross, Sticklebract, Waimea, Wakatu and Motueka. The Sunrise offering includes a huge catalogue of specialist hop harvesting and drying equipment for processing the farm’s annual 150 tonne harvest

Wallace said Swamp Road Orchard was planted in 18.8 hectares of apples, 2.6 hectares of hop vines, and 10 hectares of kiwifruit. The entire kiwifruit crop is on good root-stocks and fully frost-protected through an overhead sprinkler system.

Substantial building improvements on the property included a 1022 square metre packing shed and loading yard, and an adjacent 1605 square metre coolstore complex with capacity to warehouse up to 620,000 trays of fruit.

True Commercial - Kaimira vineyard Brightwater.jpg

View over Kaimira vineyard in Brightwater. 

“The packing shed and coolstore capacity is well in excess of the space required by the property on its own, and contract packing and storage is undertaken on behalf of other growers in the region.
Kahurangi Vineyard was planted in riesling, chardonnay, pinot noir, sauvignon blanc, and montepulciano varietals. The winery features 1190 square metres of tank room and coolstore, with an adjoining 220 square metre commercial kitchen, bar, wine tasting room and function venue. The property has a four-bedroom owner’s residence and two bedroom guest cottage.

Kaimira Vineyard is diversely planted in pinot noir, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, pinot gris, gewurztraminer, viognier, syrah, petit verdot, pinot blanc, merlot and muscat varieties. Infrastructure on the property includes the modern warehouse style building housing two presses and 45 tanks.

Wallace said it was hard to forecast where potential buyers for the different businesses would emerge from.

“The wineries may well attract European or Asian interest as those markets look to secure sureity of supply. There is speculation in the brewing sector that Sunrise Hops may well attract British and North American interest, while I suspect Swamp Road Orchard will most likely be picked up by a buyer from within New Zealand,” he said.