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Two Brands, Three Blokes, One New Wine Company

Two Brands, Three Blokes, One New Wine Company

From left: Alistair Soper, Pete Coldwell and Gordon Ritchie. Photo: Highfield TerraVin Limited

Two renowned Marlborough wine brands are joining forces, with the backing of former employees.

Highfield and TerraVin Wines will now be known as Highfield TerraVin Ltd.

Winemakers Alistair Soper and Gordon Ritchie have joined with General Manager Pete Coldwell to run the new company, with all three men having some strong goals in mind.

“Both brands have made names for themselves with high quality wines,” Mr Coldwell said. “Highfield is renowned for its Sauvignon Blanc and Méthode Traditionelle, while TerraVin is celebrated for Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc.”

With the two brands joining forces, the winemakers will continue to concentrate on their own specialties Mr Ritchie said.

“We will be keeping the individual labels and we are adamant that we will maintain the personality and character of those wines.”

Mr Ritchie will continue to make the wines under the TerraVin label, while Mr Soper who has been the winemaker for Highfield since 1999, will be responsible for that brand’s wines.

“The two companies have developed their own niche markets and whilst we’ll work collaboratively, we don’t want our wines to look the same,” Mr Soper said. “Gordon and I both have our own styles, and we will continue to produce wines in those styles.”

There are a number of synergies that will assist the new company going forward providing some fantastic opportunities.

“Highfield has an iconic winery with two smaller vineyards,” Mr Coldwell said. “Then TerraVin has a unique hillside vineyard, but no winery. Combining the two creates something really special.”

For all three men, having a stake in the new company is indicative of their commitment to Marlborough and its burgeoning wine industry.

“We have over 50 years of combined experience working in the wine industry here, and we choose to be here because we really believe in Marlborough,” Mr Coldwell said. “We are three like-minded blokes, we all love Marlborough, we love the wines from this part of the world and we want to be part of the Marlborough wine industry going forward.”

Both the TerraVin and Highfield wines will be sold at the Highfield Cellar Door, and plans are underway to re-open the restaurant in time for summer 2015/16.

About Highfield

Highfield was one of the very early wineries to emerge in Marlborough, producing its first vintage in 1989. While Sauvignon Blanc has been the primary variety, the company was one of the first in the region to gain a French influence with their Méthode Traditionnelle. In 1991, Michel Drappier from Champagne Drappier helped in the creation of what has become their flagship wine – Elstree Cuvee Brut.

Highfield has two smaller vineyards and a winery which can process up to 550 tonnes of fruit a year.

It has become an iconic part of the Marlborough landscape, with its easily recognized Tuscan style buildings, which were designed by Sir Michael Fowler.

About TerraVin

Established in 1998, TerraVin is focused on producing quality wines from hillside fruit - in particular Pinot Noir. The 30-hectare hillside vineyard is located in the southern Wither Hills, growing Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, and a small amount of Chardonnay. Winemaker Gordon Ritchie believes “that clay rich hillside sites deliver the best expression of Marlborough”

The Three Blokes

Pete Coldwell emigrated from the UK in 2007, having married his wife Emma, a Kiwi. He came straight to Marlborough, and took up the job of Export Director for CJ Pask. In the ensuing years he was the Sales and Marketing manager for Highfield, then General Manager for Seresin Estate, before coming back to Highfield as General Manager. He will take on the role of Highfield TerraVin Ltd’s Managing Director.

Alistair Soper arrived in Marlborough during the rains of the 1995 vintage, to work as a cellar hand at Grove Mill. He moved through the ranks to assistant winemaker, before shifting to Highfield as winemaker in 1999. In 2007 he took over as Managing Director. One of the great bonuses of this new venture he said, was the fact he could get back to winemaking.

Gordon Ritchie was born in Marlborough and earned his first wage working in the local vineyards, during his school holidays. In 1993 he returned from his OE and started as a cellar hand for Delegat’s. He has since worked as a winemaker at Forrest Wines, Seresin Estate and Indevin prior to becoming the winemaker for TerraVin.

All three “blokes” are now shareholders in Highfield TerraVin Ltd.


ENDS


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