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Vote of confidence in wine

Concept designs of the Foley Wines development in Martinborough. IMAGE/SUPPLIED

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The development of a multimillion-dollar Foley Wines complex has the go-ahead and developers plan to open for business in 18 months.

The Martinborough ‘hospitality destination’ is being built at the Te Kairanga site on 89 Martins Rd. It will have a restaurant that can seat 100 people, space for private dining and a tasting room. The complex is large enough to host weddings.

It includes an underground barrel hall and a gin distillery.

Foley Wines chief executive Mark Turnbull said the company had worked on the concept for the past two years.

“Wine tourism has been a growth category in New Zealand and around the world,” Turnbull said. “Clearly there is going to be a subdued period, but given the project will take around 18 months, we feel we will be well placed when international tourism returns.”

Visitors will be offered the Foley brands: Te Kairanga wines, Martinborough Vineyard wines and Lighthouse Gin.

Lighthouse Gin’s new distillery will be within the development. It is a custom-built copper still commissioned from German distillery manufacturer CARL.

“Visitors will be able to see the distiller at work while enjoying a Lighthouse gin and tonic,” Turnball said.

American based Foley Wines chairman Bill Foley visits Wairarapa and stays at Wharekauhau Estate, which he owns.

“I have always been passionate about Wairarapa both in terms of the exceptional wines we produce but also its tourism,” Foley said.

“My family continues to invest in Wharekauhau Country Estate, the lodge we personally own in the region. I believe that investment at Te Kairanga will benefit our brands incredibly but also the broader economy in the greater Wellington region.”

South Wairarapa Mayor Alex Beijen welcomed the news.

“Foley Wines continued investment in this very special region is a real vote of confidence in both tourism and our wine industry,” he said.

“This additional investment provides more employment and income for the region, and cements Foley Wines as a key contributor to our economy.”

Foley Wines is an NZX-listed company with over a thousand New Zealand shareholders.

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