Gold winner’s Marlborough block could be vineyard

5:00 AM Saturday November 29, 2014 Colin Taylor

The property includes a four-bedroom house.

A former New Zealand Commonwealth Games gold medalist is selling his rural Marlborough lifestyle property located in a leading wine region on the market for sale.

The block, located at 3105 State Highway 63, lies 3km west of the Wairau Valley township and 30-40 km west of Blenheim, Randwick and Marlborough Airport. Wairau Valley is one of New Zealand’s premier wine regions, with Marlborough producing 77 per cent of the country’s total wine.

The 92.5 hectare property includes a four-bedroom house, ‘cob’ mud and straw cottage, garage, and several sheds.

Tony Ebert became a national legend when he represented New Zealand in weightlifting at the 1974 British Commonwealth Games, winning gold in the men’s middleweight category. In addition to Ebert and the rest of the weightlifting team bringing home seven medals from the Games, their success was credited with the sport’s resulting meteoric rise in popularity in New Zealand. He has described the '74 Games as the “springboard for the sport's future success”.

Ebert went on to manage the LA Olympics weightlifting team and to coach internationally, before retiring professionally from sport and living on Auckland’s North Shore with his wife Jenni. The couple owns two vineyards in the Marlborough region which supply grapes to leading wineries and the pastoral lifestyle property in the Wairau Valley.

They have decided to place the rural pasture block on the market for sale to focus on their viticultural investments and on organising and competing in weightlifting in the upcoming Masters World Games in Auckland in 2017.

True Commercial - 3105 State Highway 63 - land.jpg

About 80 hectares of the property is suitable for development as a vineyard.

The property is being marketed for sale by negotiation through Bayleys Marlborough salespeople John Hoare and Kurt Lindsay.

“My wife and I have hugely enjoyed the farm for the past six years but we no longer have time for all of our passions so have decided to concentrate our efforts on our existing vineyard operations in Marlborough and the sport we love,” Ebert says. “The time is right to allow a new owner to take over and realise their own vision for this property.”

Hoare says the property presents several opportunities to a new owner or investors.

“Savvy buyers and investors will recognise the multi-use potential of this property, which could be developed into a working sheep and beef farm or vineyard. A viticultural evaluation identified 80 hectares of the property as suitable for vineyard development,” he says.

 “Someone with a passion for wine and winemaking could step in and develop this property, which is ideally suited to these businesses.

“Alternatively, it is ready of a new owner to move in and enjoy it as a family home, or it could be converted into boutique B&B accommodation.”

The 216 sq m four-bedroom home was built in the 1950s and has been upgraded by the current owner. A deck wraps around the front of the house.

The ‘cob’ cottage was built in the 1900s with rammed earth walls. The historical house is 22 sq m and has a concrete floor, and corrugated iron roof. In addition, there is garage and a range of sheds on the property including hay, wool and implement and calf rearing sheds, workshop and an animal shelter. Electricity runs to all of the dwellings, and buildings, along with water for stock and domestic purposes supplied from a spring on the property.

The surrounding properties are used for dairy, pastoral, forestry and an increasing amount of vineyard development, says Hoare.