At the first winery production site built in the premium North Canterbury region of Waipara, a boutique vineyard and accommodation business has been listed for sale on the market.
Waipara River Estate is a 13.9-hectare property comprising around 3.2-hectares planted in vines producing high-quality award-winning pinot noir, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and chardonnay wines, along with a commercially operated boutique bed and breakfast accommodation.
The estate’s vines were first sowed in 1981 and are now harvested and bottled at the nearby Crater Rim winery under contract. In 2016, the vineyard’s Riesling dessert wine was named the Champion Wine at the Canterbury Wine Awards and received silver awards at the 2015 Bragato Awards and London’s International Wine & Spirits Competition.
Located 12-kilometres north of Amberley township, the property serves as a commercial accommodation provider under Waipara River Estate - operating five self-contained studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units – with nightly rates for hotel-grade rooms varying between NZD$230 to $270.
The Waipara River Estate Boutique luxury bed and breakfast accommodation is separate from the guestrooms, which feature their own kitchenettes.
Outside, the modern and immaculately presented dual-level home showcases a covered veranda walkway connecting to mature shrubbery, gardens, and lawns – encircling an al-fresco dining and entertainment courtyard with a pizza oven. Adjacent is an in-ground heated swimming pool complete with changing rooms. A comprehensive chattels list, including approximately NZD$100,000 of bottled wine, is available on application.
The freehold land, residence and buildings trading as Waipara River Estate at 169 MacKenzies Road in Waipara has been marketed for sale for enquiries over NZD$2.5million (plus GST, if any) through Bayleys Canterbury. According to salespeople Wendy Miles and Adam Whitelock, the property offers a rural lifestyle living with either passive or active income streams for lifestyle property investors.
“With dual revenue streams from two very different economic sectors, this beautiful home incorporating accommodation suites and its well-established surrounding productive land come together to create a diversified lifestyle-based proposition,” said Miles.
“As a residential dwelling, the homestead enjoys the privacy and ambience of being situated in the middle of a working vineyard. From a marketing perspective, the appeal of Waipara River Estate is that guests can stay amidst the romance of the vines.”
“Over the past two years, Waipara River Estate’s accommodation business has survived on domestic tourism numbers alone. With New Zealand’s international borders opening up, the venue is well-positioned to benefit from international free independent travellers (FITs) as this tourism market sector re-emerges.
“Of course, there is also the option of reverting the classically styled home back to a domestic residential dwelling, and this could be achieved with minimal effort.”
The vineyard’s irrigation originates from the estate’s shareholding in the Weka Plains Irrigation Scheme. Providing rights for up to 6.15 million litres of water annually, a gravity-fed reticulation line runs from the scheme’s holding pond. Meanwhile, domestic water for the homestead is sourced from a bore linked to a 25,000-litre storage tank. A water softener and brine tank automatically soften all water entering the home. To deliver clean, clear soft water throughout, there are also dual pleated, washable five-micron sediment filters.
Sheltered by the Teviot Hills to the west, Canterbury’s Waipara region experiences an annual rainfall of around 620 millimetres. The area supports 26 wineries and 80 vineyards, including Waipara River Estate, which boasts 1.48 hectares of chardonnay, 0.8 hectares of pinot noir, 0.53 hectares of Gewurztraminer, and 0.28 hectares of Riesling.
Waipara River Estate is part of the viticulture representative body New Zealand WineGrowers Inc. Over the past 25 years, vines have been removed or replanted in various phases to ensure maximum cropping and resilience to disease. Between 2008 and 2017, annual yield averages from the Waipara River Estate vines were approximately 10 tonnes annually.
Whitelock shared that commercial vineyard-related building infrastructure on the property comprises a trio of modern lockable roller door sheds used to store vine maintenance and harvesting equipment, separate horse stables and tack room, and a four-bay open-fronted barn, a double insulated Customs licensed wine store.
“Over the past five years, Waipara River Estate’s current owners have invested heavily in upgrading the premises - primarily renovating what the property’s original farmhouse into what is now a four-star accommodation business was,” said Whitelock. “Concurrently on the productive land, the investment programme has seen improvements to the equipment sheds, irrigation system, vine plantings fencing and bio-diversity-enhancing tree-planting around the irrigation pond and pastures.”
“A substantial part of the property is currently in a flat grassed pasture with its rural ambience. There is certainly the ample potential for a new owner to expand vine plantings across those fields to increase the output of what is a successful label.”