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May (No. 496)

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Nobilo, Villa Maria reveal expansion plans

Two major New Zealand wine companies have unveiled plans to capitalise on their winemaking success and future winemaking capabilities.

Nobilo Wine Group intends to build a new winery on the company’s Corner 50 vineyard at the junction of Maraekakaho Road and State Highway 50 in the Ngatarawa area of Hawkes Bay.

The new winery, which will be called Corner 50, is expected to be ready for the 2005 vintage crush and will have an initial capability of handling 2000 tonnes from the Corner 50 vineyard and other Nobilo plantings in Hawkes Bay.

Corner 50 vineyard and winery is named after the locally known Corner 50 junction where the large 100-hectare vineyard starts. Hawkes Bay’s two most important wine styles, Chardonnay and Merlot-based reds, will represent the majority of wine to be made at Corner 50.

The new winery will complement Nobilo Wine Group’s current production where South Island fruit is processed at the company’s Drylands winery in Marlborough and Gisborne fruit is processed at Gisvin, a contract grape processing company.

Meanwhile Villa Maria Estate recently opened its new winery at Mangere in Auckland. The event was officiated by New Zealand Prime Minister, Helen Clark, who was joined by New Zealand winery owners, the New Zealand Winegrowers board of directors, contract grapegrowers from Hawke’s Bay, Marlborough and Gisborne, viticulturists, Villa Maria import agents from the USA, Australia, Fiji, Cook Islands, Singapore and Vanuatu, and wine industry leaders.

The official opening followed the construction of the first stage of the winery and vineyard park. The winery is built from concrete, polished aggregate, steel, corrugated iron and timber on 40ha.

The complex also includes a warehouse, bottling hall, winery cellar, administration block, function and cellar door shop, along with 20ha of grape vines. The final stage of the winery and vineyard park includes plans for a restaurant, conference centre and vineyard accommodation.



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