Rothschild tie-in fuels Craggy Range expansion

As the first wines from his joint venture with the Rothschild family arrive in Europe, Craggy Range chairman Terry Peabody has confirmed expansion plans for his core brand.

Craggy Range owner and founder, Terry Peabody with his wife Mary

Craggy Range owner and founder, Terry Peabody with his wife Mary

Originally announced in September last year, the partnership has seen Benjamin de Rothschild and family produce Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir from a 26-hectare vineyard on Rapaura Road, Marlborough.

Called Rimapere, the Maori for “five arrows” in reference to the five branches of the Rothschild family, the brand’s vineyards are managed by the Craggy Range team, which also handles distribution through its Australian and New Zealand networks.

Explaining the primary attraction of this alliance, which after all looks set to compete with Craggy Range in New Zealand’s premium wine pool, Peabody told the drinks business: “We’re constantly interested in expanding. This was an opportunity to do that but not affect our own brand.”

Priced at “slightly less than Craggy Range”, the first vintage of Rimapere is “a few thousand cases”, although this is set to grow in future years, and appears to be meeting with a favourable initial response.

“We’ve started distributing it in Australia and our whole allocation is gone,” reported Peabody, whose company already looks after New Zealand sales of Champagne Barons de Rothschild.

Although unable to confirm yet who will represent Rimapere in the UK, since the market is managed by the Rothschilds’ own distribution team, Peabody revealed that the wine has already been shipped to France. In Hong Kong and China, the Rothschilds will work through their existing partnership with Jebsen Fine Wines.

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