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Winemaker about to grow following merger

Media release – March 23, 2006
One of NZ’s largest winemakers about to grow following Goldwater – Vavasour merger


One of New Zealand’s larger wineries, Rapaura Vintners, is set to expand its winemaking operations following the merger this week of Goldwater and Vavasour.

Rapaura is just five percent of the total national wine tonnage and over eight percent of the Marlborough production which produced 58 percent of NZ wine in 2005.

But the Vavasour-Goldwater merger this week will have a significant impact on Rapaura’s operation, chief executive Nigel Taylor said today.

Goldwater is a third owner of Rapaura Vintners Ltd, along with Matua Valley Wines and Babich Wines.

The newly merged company expects to join Delegats and Villa Maria as one of the largest New Zealand owned wine companies in the next few years.

Vavasour is owned by the New Zealand Wine Fund and Taylor said
the deal with both Vavasour and Goldwater will have an exciting flow-on to Rapaura Vintners.

``It will really help us in terms of additional winemaking activity and a significant growth in bottling as both the Goldwater and Vavasour brands continue to grow.’’

Goldwater Estate has been a key player at Rapaura Vintners for many years and a shareholder since 2001. Kim Goldwater will remain a director of Rapaura Vintners representing NZ Wine Fund.

``Vavasour are well respected as one of the earliest Marlborough wineries and have built an excellent reputation for their quality Vavasour and Dashwood labels.

``We also look forward to working with Vavasour’s winemaker, Glenn Thomas, and his team in the future.”

The NZ Wine Fund was created by Clavell Capital Limited. In 2003, the Fund acquired Vavasour Wines

As a result of the merger, Kim and Jeanette Goldwater now own 20 percent of The NZ Wine Fund which is a private equity style investment vehicle with approximately 20 shareholders, including Messrs Belcher and Scutts.

Rapaura is one of Marlborough's largest wineries either making and/or bottling Marlborough wines for many labels, in addition to the shareholders’ brands - Babich, Goldwater, Shingle Peak and Matua Valley.

Premium New Zealand brands such as Nautilus, Sacred Hill, Clifford Bay, to name but a few, are included in the client list that Rapaura is proud to service.

Established in 1995, Rapaura was the first contract winery in New Zealand offering a full range of winemaking, bottling and warehousing services at their re-developed former Corbans Stoneleigh Winery on Jacksons Road, in the heart of Marlborough’s wine country.

ENDS

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