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Prominent Marlborough vineyard Gravitas has been sold to a New Zealand owned and
operated wine label for an undisclosed price.
The 23 hectare operation in the heart of Marlborough’ s Wairau Valley wine growing region
was taken to auction by Bayleys last month – with the top bid reaching $2million.
Following the auction, serious talks were held with the top bidder, as well as a number of
other interested parties – including at least two from offshore wine companies. Some 77
people attended the auction, which also included the sale of an adjacent 16 hectare lifestyle
block associated with Gravitas but held in a separate title.
Bayleys Marlborough viticulture sales specialist John Hoare said the Gravitas vineyard
property had sold this week for a confidential sum “ in excess of the $2million bid at auction.”
Mr Hoare said the purchaser only wanted to be referred to as a ‘ well known New Zealand-
based wine producing label with a world-wide reputation.’
Gravitas is planted with a range of grape varieties – including sauvignon blanc (7.7
hectares), chardonnay (4 hectares), pinot noir (6 hectares) and riesling (1 hectare). Gravitas is
surrounded by such prestigious grape producing neighbours as Oyster Bay, Nautilus, Pernod
Ricard, and Clos Henri.
The Gravitas label was founded in 1993 by former banker Martyn Nicholls following an
extensive search to find land suitable for planting grapes and making high quality wine.
However, the property was placed in receivership with financial management firm Grant
Thornton and sold ‘ in receivership.’
Mr Hoare said the successful Gravitas sale was one of only a few vineyards to sell in the
Marlborough region this year.
“ Up until 2008, local vineyards sold for more than $200,000 per producing hectare. This
Gravitas transaction, albeit a receivership sale, demonstrates that the per producing hectare
value is now significantly below this figure,” Mr Hoare said.
“ This should give other vendors in the region – a number of whom were in the Bayleys
auction room for the Gravitas offering to get some feel for what their own properties were
worth - a very clear and current price indication for those holdings.
“ We have more than 50 vineyard listings in the region – and we expect to see some of those
adjust their price expectations downward accordingly as a result of this sale. That reality may
be hard for some vendors to accept, but at the end of the day, it’ s simply where the market is
now… and anyone trying to ‘ talk up values’ is simply painting a false scenario.
“ This realisation should in turn lead to a greater number producing vineyard sales throughout
the Marlborough region in the next six months.”