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New Zealand’s Invivo expands its Marlborough footprint

Invivo & Co. has significantly upped its land occupancy in Marlborough and is on the cusp of a bumper 2022 harvest, say its founders.

In the last 12 months Invivo has secured further leases in both Marlborough and Hawkes Bay, significantly increasing its production capabilities, the company’s founders told db.

It means the winery is now able to produce more than 2.5 million litres of wine across its Invivo X, SJP, Graham Norton and Invivo ranges, which are sold in 37 countries.

The move also means the company is looking at a bumper 2022 harvest, as the extra area under vine, along with resilient plants, has allowed Invivo to expand its volume of grape tonnage by +150% on last year.

“For 2022, Invivo is approaching 6000 tonnes globally, 4000 of which are in New Zealand,” Invivo co-founder Tim Lightbourne told db. The company also works with producing partners in France, Italy, Argentina, Australia and Ireland.

According to Lightbourne, the bountiful 2022 harvest applies across all New Zealand grape varieties “with Sauvignon Blanc still leading the way with about 40% of our production.”

Co-founder Rob Cameron revealed that the successful 2022 harvest came in spite of a bleak early outlook: “The 2022 harvest was initially looking to be quite a challenging one due to an unseasonably wet February and March,” he said. “The rain forced our hand in Hawkes Bay and some of our early Marlborough blocks, but our Awatere Vineyards withstood the wet extremely well and pushed through towards the end of the season to finally experience some settled, dry weather. The resulting wines are looking fantastic with lots of intense flavour and aroma.”

Lightbourne added that the owners of the company’s newly leased land are all “premium well-established growers” and said that Invivo plans to further expand its occupancy in the near future.

“With the growth of the Invivo, Invivo X, SJP and Graham Norton brands, we are looking at further vineyard expansion in New Zealand and in our other key supplier countries in order to support our retailer requirements,” Lightbourne said.

“We also now have two wineries of our own and have increased our tank capacity significantly in the last six months. It’s an exciting time for all involved.”

Invivo took over one of its wineries – a 120-year old historic property in the New Zealand town of Te Kauwhata – in 2016, which at the time had a production capacity of just 150,000 litres. Its construction by the New Zealand government in 1902 was intended to establish whether or not New Zealand could produce wine.

The company recently appointed former Costco head wine buyer Annette Alavrez-Peters as its US consulting partner to help grow sales of its wine in the United States. Invivo also recently launched the world’s first winery airline “Invivo Air” and released a collection of sell-out NFTs.

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