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Scott puts winery up for sale

Matahiwi Estate. PHOTO/HAYLEY GASTMEIER

HAYLEY GASTMEIER

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Wairarapa MP Alastair Scott is selling his Masterton vineyard, but says his future plans will likely include reinvesting in the region.

Scott has owned Matahiwi Estate on Paierau Rd for 21 years, planting the vines in 1998 and 1999, and building the winery in 2003.

The National Party’s Associate Spokesperson for Finance said on Sunday the vineyard was “not getting the attention it deserves” and it was time for a change.

“It needs a new owner. I can’t do two things at once, you know, you try and spread yourself too thin, so I’d rather just focus on one thing rather than two.”

The 70ha property mainly specialises in producing sauvignon blanc and pinot noir.

As of September 2017, the property had a rateable value of $6.9 million.

Matahiwi Estate is being marketed by Bayleys agent Lindsay Watts and will be sold through a tender process.

There had been “good interest” both locally and abroad.

“It is a very well set up vineyard, it’s been particularly well designed.”

Watts said the winery was “extremely efficient” in terms of production and cost, putting it on par with Marlborough vineyards.

Last year, the Times-Age reported that Scott’s vineyard put out 1200 tonnes of wine per year, which – if bottled – would equate to about one million bottles.

Instead, much of the product was shipped overseas in containers where it is bottled and distributed under different labels.

Scott said the new owner would be able to take Matahiwi Estate to “the next level”.

The Opaki property was a dairy farm when he bought it 1997.

He said his decision to branch into wine production came after returning from an overseas stint in London and Tokyo, where he was working in investment banking.

Scott stayed mum about what future projects he had in mind, but “one or two of them would definitely” be based in Wairarapa, he said.

“There’s a few things in Wairarapa that are pretty interesting – primary production, the primary sector, but we’ll see what happens.”

He said selling the vineyard would not result in him spending less time in the region where he has held the Parliamentary seat since 2014.

“I don’t go to the winery these days because I’m too busy with the politics.”

 

 

 

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