Barossa winery Torbreck has announced the acquisition of The Escarpment Winery at Martinborough in New Zealand, bringing together two of the New World’s great wine houses from either side of the ditch.
The Escarpment’s founder Larry McKenna – known as the ‘Prince of Pinot’ and an inductee into the New Zealand Wine Hall of Fame – will stay on as winemaker and all current employees will be retained.
“We’re excited about this strategic acquisition of one of New Zealand’s finest pinot noir producers,” Torbreck general manager Peter Perrin said.
“Larry is an international pinot legend and his continued influence on the wines was an essential part of this negotiation.
“Larry has spent 18 years evolving his definitive New World pinot style and we see this as a great marriage between Martinborough, the birthplace of New Zealand pinot poir and the Barossa, the home of Australian shiraz.
“The acquisition is a logical step for Torbreck enabling us to expand our portfolio and bring our well established marketing and distribution strength to build both brands in Australia, New Zealand and beyond.”
The Escarpment Vineyard was established in 1999 by the Kirby and McKenna families. The assets include a 19ha vineyard, a 300 tonne winery, finished good warehouse and a brand portfolio across three price points ranging from the $19 to $25 a bottle The Edge range to the Insight series, which includes the $90 a bottle flagship Kupe single vineyard pinot noir.
The 2013 Kupe was the only Australasian wine in Wine Spectator’s Top 10 wines of 2015 and the 2016 Kupe Pinot Noir was recently rated the highest scoring New Zealand wine by The Wine Advocate.
In addition to its highly regarded pinot noir, Escarpment produces riesling, pinot gris, pinot blanc and a Burgundian-style chardonnay.
At the time of publishing the sale remained subject to New Zealand OIO approval.
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