Saint Clair will become one of New Zealands 15 biggest wine companies after this weeks purchase of Lake Chalice

Saint Clair will become one of New Zealand's 15 biggest wine companies after this week's purchase of Lake Chalice

New Zealand wine company Saint Clair Family Estate has acquired Lake Chalice in the Marlborough area of the country.

The purchase, for an undisclosed amount, includes the Lake Chalice brand and 60 hectares over three Marlborough vineyards. The company's grape purchase contracts also form part of the deal.

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The plan, according to Saint Clair co-founder & MD Neal Ibbotson, is to continue the Lake Chalice brand. Winemaking will shift to the nearby Saint Clair winery in Blenheim under Matt Thomson and Hamish Clark, while shareholders Philip and Sue Binnie will continue as consultants, at least in the short term.

The transaction, which is set to complete tomorrow, will elevate Saint Clair into the third category of the country's wine companies in a size-grading created by trade association New Zealand Winegrowers. Category three comprises produces with annual grape wine sales of 4m litres or more.

Saint Clair was set up by Neal and Judy Ibbotson in 1978.