Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) has announced plans to acquire a substantial Marlborough premium vineyard in New Zealand, expanding its local footprint from 505 hectares to 750 hectares.
This will increase supply of highly sought-after lighter varietals including Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, which continue to grow in popularity with consumers around the world.
Grapes from the new vineyard will be used in future vintages of the company’s New Zealand wine brands including Matua and Squealing Pig.
This year, TWE also celebrates 50 years since Matua created the first commercial Sauvignon Blanc in New Zealand and the brand’s continued contribution to building international recognition for the local wine industry.
TWE chief supply and sustainability officer, Kerrin Petty said, “The acquisition of the new vineyard, which includes its own water reservoir, is an important step in expanding our premium wine portfolio and ensuring we remain in front of evolving consumer preferences.
“Consumers love our New Zealand wines – particularly in the US where Matua is known as one of their ‘hot brands’.
“We want to keep making the wines that consumers love and with lighter varietals continuing to trend, this additional vineyard will ensure we can keep up with consumer demand – now and well into the future.”
The purchase is the latest premium vineyard acquisition for TWE in the past two years, following its recent acquisition of the fastest-growing luxury wine brand in the US, Daou Vineyards, as well as the addition of Beenak vineyard in the Yarra Valley and a French Chateau and vineyards in Bordeaux.
This NZ acquisition announcement coincides with the 50th anniversary of TWE’s long-standing New Zealand brand Matua, the first winery to plant Sauvignon Blanc vines in New Zealand in 1969 and produce the first bottle of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc in 1974.
The celebrations include commemoration events at Matua Winery for team members and local dignitaries and partners, where new vines are being planted in a 50th anniversary row to demonstrate TWE’s commitment to the next 50 years.
Matua senior winemaker John Ashwell said, “Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is sought after the world over.
“It’s a unique combination of aromatics and flavour profile.
“You can’t find it anywhere else in the world.
“Eighty-five percent of all the grapes crushed in New Zealand are from Marlborough, from Sauvignon Blanc.
“So, it’s a huge success story and we’re very thrilled and excited to be a part of that.
“We’re doing our best to continue the legacy of Matua’s co-founders, the Spence brothers, to try new things and to still be here, better than ever, in the future.”
TWE’s bold sustainability ambitions have always played a key role in its journey, footprint and partnerships, with a goal to be zero waste to landfill by 2050.
This acquisition aligns with TWE’s plans to ensure all waste streams are being used either on its vineyards or going through its wastewater plant, to ensure that it can reuse and recycle as best it can.
Recently TWE entered a partnership with New Zealand company Robotics Plus to provide hybrid autonomous vehicles that use artificial intelligence to improve operational efficiencies and provide data-driven insights.
Kerrin Petty said, “We’re paving the way for innovative and sustainable vineyard production, including with our latest acquisition, where our New Zealand vineyards are going to be the first across our business to have two unmanned autonomous vehicles.
“The technology used by Robotics Plus is the first that can be delivered at scale across our operations, improving environmental sustainability while providing a solution for widespread labour shortages impacting the agriculture industry.
“It’s going to allow us to work more efficiently, gather data over the course of the growing season and make more informed management decisions.”
The acquisition of the vineyard at 4336 State Highway 63, Wairau Valley, is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to settle in the first quarter of 2024.
Photo: Matua founders Bill and Ross Spence.