Constellation Brands New Zealand, New Zealand’s largest exporter of New Zealand wine to the US, has sold its Marlborough-based Riverlands Winery to family-owned Giesen Group.
One of three Constellation-owned wineries in New Zealand, the Riverlands Winery has been part of the company’s portfolio since 2006. While the facility is no longer suited to Constellation’s ambitious growth plans, its capacity for smaller production runs ensured a great fit with Giesen’s production plans. Its location across the road from Giesen’s existing Marlborough winery cemented the extension as a logical and exciting strategic move for the innovative New Zealand-owned brand.
The sale of the winery is planned to settle in mid-December this year, in time for the upcoming 2021 harvest. Giesen is hopeful all current Riverlands employees will join the team and be part of their future growth plans for the winery.
The ever-increasing US demand for Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc coupled with a decline in Pinot Noir demand has been a key driver in Constellation’s decision to divest the Winery, given its suitability to smaller parcel wine production.
“For us, the majority of our growth continues to be from Sauvignon Blanc and this divestment allows us to focus our efforts on our state-of-the-art Drylands operation to leverage its full efficiency in growing high-end Sauvignon Blanc,” commented Simon Towns, Managing Director of Constellation Brands New Zealand.
Constellation Brands’ $10 million-plus expansion project of its Drylands Winery will support this continued growth of its power brands.
As one of the largest family-owned wine companies in New Zealand and with a suite of innovative product releases under the company belt, Giesen Group is on a growth trajectory.
The purchase of the Riverlands Winery is a key step in the company’s strategic planning, allowing it to continue growing the domestic and global footprint Giesen has been evolving over the last 40 years. Giesen Group sees this next phase for the New Zealand export community as a very exciting time, with the growth of the NZ Inc brand and the continued expansion of consumers’ ongoing love affair with New Zealand’s very unique wine style of Sauvignon Blanc.
“It’s an exciting time for the Kiwi wine industry with global demand continuing to grow and we’re delighted to have sold Riverlands to such a reputable wine company with an equally impressive track record and growth projections. We know our small team of talented staff will continue to thrive under their leadership,” added Towns.