Urlar sold to Japanese sake company

The Urlar Estate vineyard (Photo: Supplied)

Gladstone wine producer Urlar has just received approval from The Overseas Investment Office (OIO) to sell their property to Nishi Sake Brewing. Current president Yoichiro Nishi, who has a passion for Wairarapa pinot noir, is overseeing the expansion of the company to include New Zealand wine in the portfolio of products that it offers through its distribution channels.

Nishi Sake Brewing wants to make Urlar a leading New Zealand wine brand in Japan.

Urlar was established in 2004 when Angus & Davina Thomson planted 30 hectares of vineyards on Dakins Road to pinot noir, sauvignon blanc, pinot gris and riesling. The company, which is committed to organic and biodynamic principles, has developed a strong international brand and now exports approximately 75% of its wines.

Angus will continue working with the new owners to maintain global and domestic relationships and look after marketing.

“Nishi Sake Brewing has been run by the same family for eight generations and has the funds to expand the business much faster than we could have managed. It’s sad to let it go but exciting to see the brand we established move to another level.”

Nishi Sake Brewing wants to make Urlar a leading New Zealand wine brand in Japan by using established distribution channels in premium retail and hospitality outlets.

Angus and Davina have purchased a new block of land near Masterton, but they plan to develop the native bush on it and have no intention of planting grapevines.

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