Hawkes Bay vineyards with excellent irrigation

5:00 AM Saturday April 1, 2017 True Commercial

Matheson Vineyard defined by a red border sits at the junction of State Highway 50 and Maraekakaho Road. Photo / Supplied

Hawke’s Bay’s Dartmoor Vineyard and Matheson Vineyard, owned by Treasury Wine Estates are on the market.

The two vineyards are being jointly marketed for sale by tender through Bayleys Auckland and Bayleys Napier, with tenders for each property closing on April 20.

Bayleys Napier viticulture specialist Glynn Rees-Jones says the two Matua vineyards can be tendered for either individually, or as a joint purchase.

Bayleys Auckland winery sales specialist Mike Peterson says production levels at both are sustained by excellent irrigation programmes – with both vineyards accredited under the Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand programme.

“Both the Dartmoor and Matheson vineyards operate purpose-built bore and well-drawn irrigation systems, with appropriate resource consents in place from Hawke’s Bay Regional Council,” he points out.

Peterson expects them to attract higher tender offers in recognition of current tonnage production and future production capabilities.

However, since they’re being sold without ongoing supply contracts, future sales are not being predicted.

The Matheson Vineyard sits at the junction of State highway 50 and Maraekakaho Road, about 14km from Havelock North.

It is a 41.026ha property of which some 36ha is planted in multiple grape varieties, including:

  • 15.17ha of merlot,
  • 2.86ha of malbec,
  • 3.6ha of syrah,
  • 3.07ha of cabernet sauvignon,
  • 5.2ha of sauvignon blanc,
  • 6.16ha of chardonnay.

Total tonnage from near triangular-shaped Matheson has more than tripled over the past four vintages, from 110 tonnes in the 2013 harvest to 340 tonnes in the 2016 crop.

Matheson’s first vines were the cabernet sauvignon and malbec strains planted in 1996 and 1997 respectively. The bulk of the remaining vines were planted between 2000 and 2003.

The second property, the Dartmoor Vineyard on the outskirts of Napier, is a 33.18ha viticulture parcel, of which 28.65 hectares is planted in sauvignon blanc grapes. The block sits directly alongside the banks of the Tukaekuri River.

The first sauvignon blanc vines were planted at Dartmoor in 2001 and steadily added to over the following four years. Some six hectares of sauvignon blanc vines were planted at the end of last year after the former chardonnay stock was removed.

Dartmoor Vineyard.jpg

Dartmoor Vineyard, identified by a red border, is on the outskirts of Napier, along the banks of the Tukaekuri River. Photo / Supplied

Like its sister property, Dartmoor’s output has risen dramatically over the past four years – from 146 tonnes in the 2013 year to 373 tonnes in the 2016 vintage.

The Puketapu property was first established in the mid-1980s; the era in which Matua’s international prominence as New Zealand’s first sauvignon blanc producer was rapidly rising.

“Dartmoor Valley is renown among viticulturalists for being virtually frost-free – meaning the land is prime for replanting into pip fruit production or other crop land usage,” Rees-Jones says.

“Surrounding properties within the valley are extensively utilised for orcharding and cropping purposes, and given the high dollar values currently being derived for apples and kiwifruit on the export market, there is every potential the vineyard could be re-purposed to produce an apple or kiwifruit crop.

“Conversely, located within the highly fertile Ngatarawa sub-region, the quality of grapes harvested from Matheson Vineyard are primarily used for award-winning single block wines, with consequential premium prices being achieved on the retail shelves.”

Building infrastructure on the Matheson Vineyard encompasses a refurbished three-bedroom home converted into an administrative office and a pair of large lockable four-year-old four-bay equipment and machinery storage sheds. The vineyard has three frost management wind machines on site, and draws its irrigation from a bore well circulated by an electric pumping system.

Infrastructure also includes a cabin-like office block with toilet and shower, a three bay 127.9sq m implement shed, a separate drive-through concrete-floored spray and pump shed, a small chemical and pumping machinery shed, and a fuel tank storage shed. The idyllic vineyard draws its irrigation from an artesian well in the centre of the property and circulated by an electric pumping system.

Vineyards owner Treasury Wine Estates produces wine in New Zealand under labels including Matua, Shingle Peak and Squealing Pig. Grapes from the Hawke's Bay vineyards have been crushed locally in the region, before being transported to the Matua Marlborough Winery for winemaking.

Matheson Vineyard has a rateable capital valuation of $4,380,000, while Dartmoor Vineyard has a rateable capital valuation of $2.2m.