ZB

Foley Wines granted consent to buy Central Otago vineyard

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 20 Apr 2022, 3:11pm
The structure of the new Martinborough building is up, and the roof going on. Photo / Supplied
The structure of the new Martinborough building is up, and the roof going on. Photo / Supplied

Foley Wines granted consent to buy Central Otago vineyard

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 20 Apr 2022, 3:11pm

NZX-listed Foley Wines' grape harvest is forecast to be up 65 per cent annually and the business has consent to buy a Central Otago vineyard as well as building at another property. 

Chief executive Mark Turnbull made the three announcements today. 

First, he said the company has almost completed its harvest and got 9085 tonnes. About 100 tonnes are still to be harvested at Foley's Mt Difficulty. The total to be harvested for the year represents about a 65 per cent increase on last year's harvest of 5582 tonnes, he said. 

Second, the Overseas Investment Office had granted approval for the company to buy the Zebra Bendigo Flat Vineyard from Zebra Vineyards. That is a 55.5ha property with about 30ha in Pinot Noir and 12.5ha bare land, ideal for further planting, Turnbull said. 

Third, resource consent has been granted for a new cellar door and restaurant project at Foley's Bannockburn's Mt Difficulty property, he said. 

The business is also building a new restaurant, cellar door and distillery development in Martinborough. Progress there has been slower than initially expected due to Covid. 

Turnbull said once both new cellar door projects were completed in Central Otago and Martinborough, the business would have significant new wine tourism venues. 

In October, Foley told the market it had entered into a conditional contract to buy the Bendigo property from Zebra Vineyards, subject to approval. The company said it planned to finance the deal via the Bank of New Zealand. 

Foley owns many vineyards including Martinborough Vineyard, Te Kairanga, Grove Mill, Vavasour, Mt Difficulty and the Lighthouse Gin distillery. 

Brands include Russian Jack, Dashwood by Vavasour, Roaring Meg by Mt Difficulty, Grove Mill, Martinborough Vineyard, Sanctuary by Grove Mill, Te Tera, Goldwater, Boatshed Bay, Clifford Bay and The Pass. 

The new Martinborough cellar door and restaurant project has been delayed due to Covid. The roof is now going on. Problems getting materials to the site had, like many other projects, delayed completion. 

The Te Kairanga winery on Martins Rd is being redeveloped, an old winery building removed and the new purpose-built facility is rising. 

Lighthouse Gin's new distillery within the development will give it the space and design to meet demand, with a custom-built copper still commissioned from German distillery manufacturer CARL. 

Visitors will be able to see the distiller at work, Foley Wines said. 

Shares are trading around $1.52, giving a market cap of $99 million. The shares traded up yesterday, by around 12c. Bumper harvests are being recorded at other vineyards due to a good season. Foley Wines had already signalled its Zebra purchase some months ago. 

- by Anne Gibson, NZ Herald