Marisco Vineyards owner Brent Marris has bought the historic Leefield Station estate in Marlborough to feed growing international demand for the company's wines.
Marisco’s Brent Marris says Leefield is a ‘prime’ site
Marris, who founded New Zealand winery Wither Hills in 1994 before selling it to Lion Nathan, paid an undisclosed sum to acquire the 2,000-hectare Leefield Station property, which dates back to the 1840s.
In buying the estate, which was originally settled by Constantine Dillon, Marris and Marisco will now have potential vineyard land of some 2,265ha in the Waihopai Valley, which was already at the centre of its operations.
The company, which owns The Ned brand among other wines, will plant 100ha of vines over the next growing season at Leefield, but also intends to buy more vineyards to secure supply, with sales reported to be growing by the equivalent of 100ha a year.
‘This property is a prime viticultural site because of its position within a glacial valley filled with mineral-rich soil and beautiful rolling foothills,’ said Marris.
‘We intend to plant our vineyards next season, but will also retain the traditions of high-value sheep and beef production on the property.’
Marris added that the company was ‘deeply committed to celebrating the historical, social and cultural significance of Leefield Station’.
Written by Richard Woodard