May 1, 2014
Auckland, New Zealand : Lion New Zealand announced today that it has purchased the Morton Estate wine brand. The purchase includes Morton Estate’s Stone Creek vineyard, adjacent to Lion’s Wither Hills property in Marlborough.
Morton Estate is a leading New Zealand wine brand, established in 1978, with a broad range of red and white wines, including a popular range of Methode Traditionelle sparkling wines. Since its debut 35 years ago, Morton Estate has developed into one of the leading wine producers in the country, particularly with its sparkling wines and chardonnays, and it is recognised for its consistent high quality.
Lion’s New Zealand Managing Director Rory Glass says the deal bolsters the company’s wine portfolio, complementing its existing ‘accessible premium’ brands, such as Wither Hills and Huntaway.
“Morton Estate will be a great complement to our existing brands, giving us more flexibility in the way we service customers and consumers by way of range and price. We expect to grow Morton Estate beyond its existing channels in order to fully unlock the potential of the brand,” he says.
John Coney, Proprietor of The Wine Portfolio sees the sale as an opportunity for his team to focus on expanding their other brands including Southern Dawn, Nikau Point, Mill Road and Penny Lane.
“I am confident that Lion is the right buyer for Morton Estate and the Stone Creek vineyard. I believe they are committed to developing the brand and I look forward to seeing it nurtured to its full potential. We can now channel our energies into growing my other wine brands and developing new opportunities for our customers,” he says.
Handover between the two companies begins this week and will be complete by early June. It’s business as usual at The Wine Portfolio. Staff currently employed at Morton Estate and Stone Creek will continue to work across their other brands and customers will continue to deal with the same people.
The purchase of Stone Creek vineyard is subject to Overseas Investment Office approval.
The Morton Estate brands will be available through the Lion BSW NZ sales and distribution channel from early June and the sales team will be working with our customers to enable a smooth transition.
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For further information please contact:
Liz Read, External Relations Director, Lion New Zealand
Tel: 09 347 2023 (DDI) or 027 470 1447 (mobile)
Fiona MacDiarmid, The Wine Portfolio
Tel: 09 300 5050 (DDI) or 027 493 4017 (mobile)