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Nelson region’s first contract winery under way

News Release for Torrent Bay Vintners Ltd

November 26 2007

Nelson region’s first contract winery under way

Two of Nelson’s larger wine companies – Anchorage and Kahurangi -- have united to build the region’s first contract winemaking facility, Torrent Bay Vintners Ltd.

The first stage, a 1000 tonne processing winery, is already under way on the outskirts of Motueka and will be operational by March in time for Vintage 2008.

A former apple packhouse, owned by Ray Drummond and family in Umukuri Rd, Brooklyn, is being converted into a contract winery to process grapes for Nelson producers. Much of the winery will be purpose-built to allow for fast and efficient processing of red and white varieties at a top rate of 25 tonnes per hour.

General Manager and head winemaker Justin Papesch said Anchorage and Kahurangi would continue their existing businesses as well as being major clients of Torrent Bay Vintners Ltd.

“The project started because Anchorage was ready to build a winery and Kahurangi needed to expand and secure its future winemaking. Added to that was an increased demand from Nelson-based wine producers and vineyard owners for contract winemaking in their home province.

Having a contract winemaking facility in the Nelson province would enhance the region’s winemaking industry and also have wider spin-offs, including financial advantages, for local contractors and associated industries, Mr Papesch said.

“Grapes that might in the past have been processed in Marlborough will now be able to be made into juice or wine right here,” he said. “The focus will be on quality and on meeting the specific needs of Nelson’s expanding aromatic wine industry, using some of the latest technology available for wine processing.

“We’re involving as many local contractors, suppliers and other businesses as possible.”

Much of the equipment is sourced from wine industry giant Diemme. Equipment includes a 15 tonne tipping receival hopper, comprehensive computerized monitoring system, and state-of-the-art filtration units, one of which is portable and which will be available for contract work at other wineries in the region. New tanks and equipment will add to the uniformity of the winery.

Mr Papesch has more than 20 years experience in all facets of the wine industry in Auckland, Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, Marlborough and Nelson. “I’m a hands-on winemaker and enjoy the whole process from site selection and planting through to picking, pressing, finishing off, bottling and even sales,” he said.


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