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TWE Marlborough vineyard acquisition approved

Treasury Wine Estates has passed regulatory approval for the acquisition of a premium vineyard in Marlborough’s Wairau Valley.

Following the announcement in November that Australia’s Treasury Wine Estates was intending to purchase a further 245ha of land in New Zealand’s Marlborough region, db can confirm that the acquisition has now been approved.

TWE plans to use grapes from the newly acquired vineyards for its New Zealand wine brands Matua and Squealing Pig, which have a large consumer fanbase in the US.

“We’re making great strides against our ambitions in New Zealand, and I’m pleased that we can continue to do so with this new acquisition while maximising wine production potential,” said Kerrin Petty, TWE’s chief supply and sustainability officer.

Treasury has also revealed detailed plans to drive sustainable practices at the new site, including the addition of “hybrid autonomous vehicles”, the careful use of water and a goal to achieve “zero waste to landfill by 2050”.

However, the news of TWE’s expanding presence in Marlborough has been met with varying degrees of enthusiasm by New Zealanders.

Speaking exclusively to db, Villa Maria’s director of winegrowing, Patrick Materman, expressed a rising tides raise all boats sentiment.

“Foreign investment has helped to establish an industry scale and reputation that has allowed consumers across the globe to fall in love with New Zealand wine,” he said. “Lifting the profile of our flagship wine varieties benefits everyone.”

Conversely, Haysley MacDonald, owner of Māori-owned Marlborough producer te Pā, told the drinks business:

“We don’t like it because, once those lands are gone, they’re gone forever. I get why these [international] companies want to be here. It’s just a shame that local people don’t get to have their own land.”

“Everyone wants to own their own home, and land is precious,” he continued. “I’d say that more than 50% of wineries are no longer New Zealand-owned, let alone Māori-owned. They are foreign-owned and controlled.”

Find out more reactions to the TWE acquisition, and increased international presence in the New Zealand wine trade, in the exclusive April cover story of the drinks business. Read it here.



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