Cheers . . . Christine Kernohan is celebrating the sale of Gladstone Vineyard. PHOTO/FILE

CAL ROBERTS
cal.roberts@age.co.nz

Australian food television personality and award-winning winemaker Eddie McDougall has taken a shine to Wairarapa wine, purchasing a vineyard he believes is the “next big thing”.

McDougall founded Australasian wine producer, The Flying Winemaker.

The company, in partnership with Asia-Pacific investment powerhouse Odyssey Capital Group, announced the acquisition of Gladstone Vineyard on Tuesday.

General manager and chief winemaker at Gladstone Vineyard, Christine Kernohan, said the sale had been a long time coming.

“We’d been looking to bring in partners and investors for quite a while and we had been working with these guys for a few months now to get to a conclusion.”

Gladstone Vineyard was a family business which already had an international presence and reputation for high-quality wine.

Its international roster included clients from Japan, Canada, America, Singapore and others.

Mrs Kernohan said she was pleased for her staff and the brand.

She said the deal provided an opportunity to increase the vineyard’s production and raise its global profile.

“The investment we have put into the business is going to go onto the next level, and that’s rewarding.

“Having expanded our vineyards from an annual production of 1000 cases to around 10,000 cases in the past 20 years, we are pleased that Odyssey and The Flying Winemaker see the huge potential of Gladstone Vineyard wines on the world stage.”

“Mr McDougall was doing a lot in terms of working with wine in the Asian market,” Mrs Kernohan said.

Mr McDougall said the process of selecting “the next big thing” in New Zealand wine was long and detailed.

“It was important to me that we become custodians of an existing vineyard that showed great promise if it could utilise our wine-making expertise and branded ecosystem.”

He said world-class wine-making businesses were not built in a day – and having the chance to take control of a vineyard with more than 30 years’ experience was a special opportunity for him.

“My team and I are incredibly excited to become the new custodians of the vineyard as we continue to build on the foundations laid by the Kernohan family and their team.”