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New Zealand’s largest exporter of New Zealand wine to the US, Constellation Brands New Zealand, has sold its Marlborough-based Riverlands Winery to family-owned Giesen Group.
One of three Constellation-owned wineries in New Zealand, the Riverlands Winery has been part of the company’s portfolio since 2006. While the facility is no longer suited to Constellation’s ambitious growth plans, its capacity for smaller production runs ensured a great fit with Giesen’s production plans. Its location across the road from Giesen’s existing Marlborough winery cemented the extension as a logical and exciting strategic move for the innovative New Zealand-owned brand.
The sale of the winery is planned to settle in mid-December this year, in time for the upcoming 2021 harvest. Giesen is hopeful all current Riverlands employees will join the their team and be part of their future growth plans for the winery.
The ever-increasing US demand for Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc coupled with a decline in Pinot Noir demand has been a key driver in Constellation’s decision to divest the Winery, given its suitability to smaller parcel wine production. Simon Towns, Managing Director of Constellation Brands New Zealand, says, “For us, the majority of our growth continues to be from Sauvignon Blanc and this divestment allows us to focus our efforts on our state-of-the-art Drylands operation to leverage its full efficiency in growing high-end Sauvignon Blanc.”
Constellation Brands’ $10 million plus expansion project of its Drylands Winery will support this continued growth of its power brands.
As one of the largest family-owned wine companies in New Zealand and with a suite of innovative product releases under the company belt, Giesen Group is on a growth trajectory. The purchase of the Riverlands Winery is a key step in the company’s strategic planning, allowing it to continue growing the domestic and global footprint Giesen has been evolving over the last 40 years. Giesen Group sees this next phase for the New Zealand export community as a very exciting time, with the growth of the NZ Inc brand and the continued expansion of consumers’ ongoing love affair with New Zealand’s very unique wine style of Sauvignon Blanc.
Simon adds, “It’s an exciting time for the Kiwi wine industry with global demand continuing to grow and we’re delighted to have sold Riverlands to such a reputable wine company with an equally impressive track record and growth projections. We know our small team of talented staff will continue to thrive under their leadership.”
Constellation Brands New Zealand
Constellation Brands New Zealand is a subsidiary of Constellation Brands Inc (NYSE: STZ and STZ.B). The Fortune 500® company is a leading international producer and marketer of beer, wine and spirits with operations in New Zealand, the U.S., Mexico, Italy and Canada. Constellation Brands New Zealand is the country’s leading exporter of wine to the US, with brands such as Kim Crawford and Selaks driving category growth across the Pacific. Here at home and in Asia and Australia, its innovation continues to hit store shelves with Crafters Union, Selaks Taste Collection, Round Theory, The People’s Wine and many more. The company employs around 250 people across its Marlborough and Hawkes Bay wineries, head office in Auckland, mobile sales force, and its vineyards throughout Marlborough, Hawke’s Bay and Central Otago
Giesen Group Limited
Founded by brothers Theo, Alex, and Marcel in 1981, Giesen Group has been an industry leader for nearly four decades. With an uncompromising drive for quality and a strong culture of innovation, the brothers’ investment in their people, vineyards, and equipment has led to their reputation as a powerhouse in the New Zealand wine industry. From their highly-awarded premium Single Vineyard Selection wines, to the commercially successful Giesen Estate and Ara wine range, Giesen produces wine to be enjoyed at every occasion.