30th May, 2013 by Andy Young
New Zealand winery, Ascension Wine Estate in Matakana just north of Auckland, has been put up for sale after going into receivership.
Ascension was established by husband and wife team Darryl and Bridget Soljan in 1996 and went on to become a popular hospitality location as well as producing award-winning wines.
The Ascension Wine Estate land, buildings, hospitality business and winery/vineyard assets, which are valued at around NZ$2.3 million (£1.2m), are being sold through Bayleys Real Estate by Scott Kirk – with tenders closing on June 27.
Kirk said: “To all intents and purposes, the business is running as usual, and is being sold with a substantial number of corporate and private function bookings already confirmed throughout the year and right up until Christmas and beyond.
“A number of concerts acts are also scheduled to perform at Ascension throughout the second half of 2013, and the receivers expectations are that those dates will be honoured should a new owner look to buy the business with that intention.”
In branching out from the original winery the owners added a large restaurant and an additional 300-person function venue during the 2000s.
Kirk added: “Ascension was a pioneer in Matakana in so many fields when it first opened, and as it subsequently grew and diversified.
“Over the past decade though, competition has sprung up on multiple fronts. There are now large concerts held at the Matakana showgrounds for example, other corporate retreats have opened up, and there are now far more dining options in the locality than ever before.”
The estate is a four-time national winner at the Hospitality New Zealand Awards for Excellence, six-time winner at the local Manaakitanga Awards, awarded the New Zealand Beef & Lamb Hallmark of Excellence every year since 2004, and has received numerous other accolades in wine, food and lifestyle publications.