The land, equipment, buildings, and hospitality business linked to one of New Zealand’s first wineries have been placed on the market for sale. Pioneering Vidal Estate vineyard was established in Hawke’s Bay in 1905 by young Spanish migrant Anthony Joseph Vidal who planted grapes in Hastings, and set about establishing a wine empire with its base stretching across the nearby Te Awanga and Te Mata plains.

Now, some 113 years later, the foundations of the Vidal empire – in a location surrounded by residential dwellings – are for sale, as the brand looks to move its production plant to a new multi-million dollar location at the Te Awa Winery and Restaurant on State Highway 50.

The freehold Vidal Estate Winery property at 904 – 908 Avenue Road East in Hastings consists of some 8,592 square metres of land sustaining 3,670 square metres of fully working winery, along with the adjacent large-scale restaurant and function/event-hosting amenity trading as the Vidal Estate Winery Restaurant.

The asset portfolio is being marketed for sale by tender through Bayleys Hawke’s Bay, with tenders closing on March 7, 2018. Bayleys Hawke’s Bay salesperson Paul Garland said the dynamics and scale of the property, buildings, and infrastructure, meant there were numerous future-use potentials for the Vidal Estate portfolio. The Vidal brand name is not part of the offering.

“The Avenue Road East location is far more than just a winery or restaurant/ function centre,” Garland said. “The most obvious use going forward is to continue both the winery and restaurant/function room operations as-is under a new name in a vertically-integrated business model where the wine is made and sold on-site to guests hosted in semi-industrial character surrounds.

“Alternatively, a new joint-ownership model could see a winery label utilising the winery amenities, and a separate hospitality entity running the restaurant and function venue – with both reliant on each other as marketing points of difference and sales channels.

Garland said the Vidal portfolio was being sold with the options of either a long settlement period stretching out to the third or fourth quarters of 2018, or with Vidal Estate Winery open to settling on a sale earlier then leasing back the plant and venue by negotiation to complete the 2018 harvest season, and to simultaneously deliver on a substantial number of functions and restaurant sittings already booked in over the corresponding summer and autumn periods.

Sir George Fistonich’s Vidal Estate Winery Restaurant was New Zealand’s first ‘winery restaurant’ when it was opened by the then Prime Minister of New Zealand Sir Robert Muldoon in 1979 – setting the trend which has now gone on to be commonplace in all of New Zealand’s wine-producing regions. Since then, the 200-person venue has broadened its marketing appeal in both the leisure and corporate sectors.