The Flying Winemaker acquires Gladstone Vineyard in NZ

Eddie McDougall, founder of The Flying Winemaker, and Odyssey Capital Group, have purchased a majority stake in Wairarapa-based winery Gladstone Vineyard for an undisclosed sum, the company has announced.

Gladstone winery in Gladstone, about an hour’s drive from Wellington, capital of New Zealand

Gladstone, a small family-run winery, makes a range of wines from Pinot Gris to Riesling, but is best known for its Pinot Noir. The purchase was announced after the winery put up an advert last year that it intended to sell, in a deal that included 13 hectares of vineyards, winemaking facilities, cafe, cellar door and accommodation facilities. 

The asking price as stated on the ad was NZ$3.3 million (US$2.3 million) plus wine stock, although the total sum paid was not specified.

After the purchase is finalised, which is still subject to New Zealand Overseas Investment Office approval, the new owners are looking to crank up wine production and realign the brands using McDougall’s established partner network and focus mainly on the Asia Pacific region.

Christine Kernohan, the current proprietor of Gladstone Vineyard, will stay on as general manager and chief winemaker, along with key Gladstone staff, in conjunction with The Flying Winemaker.

McDougall commented: “It has been a long and detailed process when it came to selecting the right vineyard and region in New Zealand that I felt was going to offer wine drinkers the next big thing. It was important to me that we become custodians of an existing vineyard that showed great promise if it could utilise our winemaking expertise and branded ecosystem.

“I recognise world-class winemaking businesses are not built in a day and having the chance to take over Gladstone Vineyard with more than 30 years on the books makes this a very special opportunity. My team and I are incredibly excited to become the new custodians of the vineyard as we continue to build on the foundations laid by the Kernohan family and their team.”

“Having expanded our vineyards from an annual production of 1,000 cases to around 10,000 cases in the past 20 years, we are pleased that Odyssey and The Flying Winemaker see the huge potential of Gladstone Vineyard wines on the world stage,” said Kernohan.

Odyssey Capital Group is Asia’s leading independent alternative asset manager that provides differentiated and bespoke investment solutions across multiple assets classes, one of which is attractive alcohol opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region.

“The acquisition of Gladstone Vineyard further adds to Odyssey’s vineyard and alcohol portfolio in the Asia-Pacific region and demonstrates our commitment to the industry and the region,” said Daniel Vovil of Odyssey.

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