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Waitaki’s best performing vineyard and cellar door for sale

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Waitaki Valley’s highest producing vineyard is for sale along with the successful River-T Estate wine label and cellar door business.

Established and operated by accomplished horticulturist Murray Turner and his wife Karen, the estate sits on 4.45ha of fertile land nestled above the Waitaki River.

It is superbly located alongside the popular Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail, only 4km east of Kurow, making it a sought-after destination for locals and tourists alike.

Customers flock to River-T Estate for quality local wine tastings, exceptional food platters and an inviting cellar door experience.

The high-quality, 2.92ha vineyard is well established and boasts an excellent production history. It has consistently been the highest producing vineyard in the Waitaki region, delivering quality fruit and outstanding wines.

The vineyard’s success flows from Murray Turner’s 42 years of horticulture experience. He started off growing stone fruit in the mid-1970s before later switching to grapes.

The Turners established their vineyard in 2007, initially supplying contract. They launched the River-T Estate label in 2015 in order to offer their own excellent quality local wines.

The estate’s recently established cellar door offers the label’s own wines, alongside other local Waitaki labels. It has been extremely successful with the local market, where it dominates sales.

Now, after 13 years, the Turners are offering River-T Estate for sale as a freehold going concern.

"I’ve dedicated decades of my life to horticulture in the Waitaki region, so the time is right for Karen and I to move on to other opportunities," says Murray Turner.

"We’re extremely proud of what we’ve created and are looking forward to seeing River-T Estate continue to flourish under a new custodian."

The Turners have exclusively appointed Colliers International to market the property at 1/5292 Kurow-Duntroon Road, Kurow, Waitaki, for sale by negotiation.

Ruth Hodges, National Co-Director of Rural and Agribusiness at Colliers, says it is a superb opportunity to secure a high-quality vineyard with its own wine label, cellar door and well-appointed family home.

"The vineyard performs consistently well and yielded 23 tonnes in the 2020 harvest. The site is warmer than others in the district and quality vineyard management has allowed these consistent yields to be achieved.

"Vine health is outstanding and as the vines are aging past 12 years the quality of grapes is second to none for the Waitaki.

"The vineyard has been accredited by Sustainable Wine NZ for several years without fail. This sector-recognised process involves annual audits to strict criteria encompassing soil, vine, water, staff, spraying and environment management."

Hodges says both the vineyard and cellar door are very easy to manage.

"A part-time qualified viticulturist assists with vine management and cellar door duties. The balance of the vineyard has been managed by the Turners with help from part-time staff when required.

"The cellar door has generally been open from August until June each year, employing four part-time staff, and sometimes more at weekends and busy times of the year."

The River-T Estate label has steadily increased production to around 1,500 cases per season, with around 1,100 cases a year retained for cellar door sales.

The wine is made by two Central Otago winemakers - Anthony Worch of Alexandra Vintners, who makes the rose and pinot gris, and Valli’s Grant Taylor, who makes the pinot noir, chardonnay and Riesling.

"This is a win-win situation as River-T enjoys experienced, accredited winemaking which has assisted in its sales success to date."

Jonny O’Sullivan, Rural Sales Broker at Colliers International, says the property is very well appointed.

"It features a large 240sq m American-style barn, constructed of quality cold rolled New Zealand steel, with a lean-to on the side for additional storage. It includes an insulated wine cellar, a mezzanine floor, and a quality office upstairs.

"Other buildings include a staff bathroom, a 26sq m shipping container for storage, two greenhouses and a pump shed.

"The 208sq m cellar door building has a large wooden deck of some 84sq m, plus two insulated shipping containers on either side of the building that provide a kitchen, office and wine storage.

"This property is further complemented by a substantial, modern homestead with incredible views of the mountains to the north and south.

"Built in 2008, the 268sq m home has been well positioned for all-day sun, views and indoor/outdoor flow. It features four bedrooms, a separate office, bathroom and ensuite, plus a large separate laundry.

"Living spaces are the focal point of the home, further complemented by a large country-style kitchen and separate media room.

"It has been cleverly designed with plenty of added features including underfloor heating and an internal vacuum system."

The property is located 4.5km from Kurow, which provides a grocery store, medical centre, farm supply store, cafes and hotels, as well as mechanical and engineering services. A full range of services is located in Oamaru, 60km from the property.

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