One of New Zealand’s smallest wineries has been bought by a large Asian investment company and an Australian flying winemaker, which will increase its size and exports.
The Gladstone Vineyard in the central Wairarapa has been bought by Odyssey Capital Group, an independent alternative asset manager in the Asia-Pacific region, who has partnered with Australian Eddie McDougall, whose business brand is called The Flying Winemaker.
The new ownership will retain the winery’s former owner and chief winemaker Christine Kernohan as general manager-chief winemaker, as well as key staff, moving forward.
“I am pleased that throughout negotiations we have reached this outcome, which will help our brand to grow strongly moving forward,” says Kernohan, who has grown the winery’s annual production of 1,000 cases to around 10,000 cases in the past 20 years. And she sees the new ownership as a chance for more significant growth.
The Flying Winemaker McDougall says his company ethos has always been to highlight wine in new ways and describes part of his approach as guerrilla wine marketing.
McDougall describes the acquisition of Gladstone Vineyard as having been a long and detailed process and says he is looking forward to building Gladstone Vineyard further.“It took a long time to select 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.”