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FT-aug17-eMag 45 says. “Waimea Estates produces a range of varietals that are complementary to Awatere River Wine Company and, similar to our own approach, has a strong ethos around family and integrity.” Vavasour’s own family history in the Awatere Valley dates back to 1887, when his ancestors settled there. His pioneering parents planted the first grapes in the valley in 1987 and released their first vintage in 1989. Vavasour founded the Awatere Valley Wine Company in 2007, producing sustainable, vegan and consistent award-winning wines. “I was brought up in the Awatere Valley making, growing and tasting wine – it’s in my blood. My winemaking philosophy is based on the four pillars of intuition, minimal intervention, sustainability and excellence,” he says. The newly announced partnership enables Awatere to meet a broader spread of evolving consumer preferences. Collectively, it can offer more than 10 varietals across six premium brands at different price points from two New Zealand regions that both deliver to, and are distinct from, typical Marlborough wines. Awatere currently markets wines under the Awatere River, Anna’s Way (named after Louis’ late mother) and Savee Sea brands, while Waimea Estates has its flagship Waimea Estate label as well as the Spinyback brand. The sixth premium brand will be added in the spring of 2018, when Awatere launches its three luxury Louis Vavasour Reserve wines - the Awatere Valley’s first Methode Traditionelle - along with a Chardonnay and a Pinot Noir from the 2016 vintage. The Booster investment also includes the purchase of additional vineyards in Marlborough and Nelson, which will contribute to future company growth and return for investors. Awatere’s total sales grew by 26% in 2016, (compared to the previous calendar year) and so far in 2017 sales are tracking 48% ahead of last year. Both Awatere River Wine Company and Waimea Estates products are distributed in New Zealand by Federal Merchants, and available in leading wine stores, restaurants and liquor stores.

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