New US company targets three New Zealand, Australian wineries

A new US wine venture has agreed to buy premium New Zealand wineries Lawson’s Dry Hills, Waimea Estates and Gravitas.

The Santa Monica-based Saint James Company is also negotiating to buy Neqtar winery at Mildura in Australia’s Murray-Darling region.

The three New Zealand wineries have a combined production of about 150,000 cases and 30 export markets.

Waimea, in the Nelson region, and Lawson’s Dry Hills are primarily white wine producers, predominantly of Sauvignon Blanc.

Marlborough-based Gravitas is a small winery producing mainly Pinot Noir.

Saint James’s CEO, Richard Hurst, is a former senior vice president of corporate strategy with Diageo.

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Written by Chris Snow in Adelaide

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