Chinese investors join foreign owners club in New Zealand wine

Chinese investors join foreign owners' club in New Zealand wine

China has become the latest country to be represented in New Zealand's wine industry after investors acquired the Paritua winery.

Paritua, established as a vineyard in 2004 and based in Hawkes Bay, has been sold out of receivership to an all-Chinese consortium for an undisclosed fee. The deal includes the Two Stones brand.

Shunguo (Jack) Wu heads the operation, while Jason Stent remains the winemaker. The consortium is based jointly in Auckland and China.

The deal sees China join a growing list of countries owning New Zealand vineyards, brands and wineries: France (Pernod Ricard, LVMH), Australia (Yalumba and Treasury Wine Estates), US (Constellation Brands), Japan (Kirin) and Portugal (Sogrape). Collectively, these account for around 60% of New Zealand wine production.

Chair of New Zealand Winegrowers, Stuart Smith, told just-drinks this week: “We are pleased to have off-shore owners that bring a road-to-market with them. They are of great value and seek simply a brand and some vineyard to fill a need in their country. Look at Kim Crawford which has found big export growth under VinCor and Constellation.”

Earlier this week, New Zealand reported a record wine harvest for 2011.