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Wednesday 14 March 2018

Torbreck splashes out on one of New Zealand's biggest wine names

Super-premium Barossa Valley winery Torbreck has announced the acquisition of The Escarpment Winery in Martinborough, New Zealand, bringing together two of the New World’s biggest-name wine houses. 

The Escarpment’s founder Larry McKenna (below) – known as the ‘Prince of Pinot’ and an inductee into the New Zealand Wine Hall of Fame – will stay on as winemaker and all current employees will be retained.

“We’re excited about this strategic acquisition of one of New Zealand’s finest pinot noir producers,” Torbreck general manager Peter Perrin said.

“Larry is an international pinot legend and his continued influence on the wines was an essential part of this negotiation. 

“Larry has spent 18 years evolving his definitive New World pinot style and we see this as a great marriage between Martinborough, the birthplace of New Zealand pinot noir, and the Barossa, the home of Australian shiraz.

“The acquisition is a logical step for Torbreck enabling us to expand our portfolio and bring our well-established marketing and distribution strength to build both brands in Australia, New Zealand and beyond.” 

The Escarpment Vineyard was established in 1999 by the Kirby and McKenna families. The assets include a 19-hectare vineyard, a 300-tonne winery, finished goods warehouse and a brand portfolio across three price points. 

Torbreck is owned by American businessman Pete Kight, who purchased it from Dave Powell. 

Note: At the time of release the sale remains subject to New Zealand OIO approval.

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