The decision of Lime Rock Wines owners to sell their award-winning estate provides a unique lifestyle and business opportunity in the heart of Central Hawke’s Bay.
Located on Tikokino Road, Waipawa on an elevated site commanding 360-degree views, Lime Rock has a well earnt reputation for its premium quality Pinot Noir, Grüner Veltliner and Pinot Gris wines.
The estate is being offered for sale by tender in its entire 19ha, including 8.5ha of grapes on north-facing slopes, sitting between 230-270m on quality free-draining limestone soils.
Bayleys Waipukurau rural salesperson Andy Hunter says the opportunity to purchase a vineyard in the Central Hawke’s Bay district is a rare one, and Lime Rock offers a combination of location, reputation, and opportunity for new owners.
“The original owners have invested their lives into establishing Lime Rock as a high quality, niche winery and have paid utmost attention to its environmental footprint, protecting soil structure and planting many native trees and shrubs to build its biodiversity.
“It is exceptionally well-integrated into the landscape,” he says.
The estate’s Roseberry soils provide a rare structure that is ideally suited to the production of the highest quality Pinot Noir. The crumbly limestone base, from the former seabed and an intermediate light clay (loess) layer, assures good water holding capacity, with a thin layer of loamy volcanic topsoil providing good nutrient holding capacity. The vineyard therefore requires minimal inputs of water and nutrients and is highly sustainable.
Recognising the soil’s intrinsic value, the owners have undertaken to maintain protective plantings on the soils, avoiding any disturbance or cultivation and even using a water jet to plant vines in 2001 with minimal disturbance.
Lime Rock’s hilltop location provides not only exceptional views, but outstanding drainage and aspect for premium vine health, allowing machinery access across the entire estate for mowing and maintenance. Importantly, the slopes allow cold air to drain away and the vineyard has been frost free.
Water supply is assured, thanks to the generous reserve of two 25,000 tanks with bore water supplying drip feed irrigation to offer summer safe assurance over the dry periods.
Sitting between 230-270m affords Lime Rock exceptional conditions for growing quality Pinot Noir and aromatic whites.
Overall, the estate comprises two thirds high quality red grape vines, mainly as Pinot Noir grapes, 20 percent Merlot and some Cabernet Franc.
The remaining vineyard is planted predominately in Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris with a small amount of Grüner Veltliner. The situation is well suited to planting premium Chardonnay and the expansion of Grüner Veltliner and Cabernet Franc plantings.
Incoming purchasers can step straight into cellar door sales and production, with the property being sold complete with tractor, mower, spray unit, motorbike and trimmer. All wine production and blending is completed off premises, and a small cellar facility is incorporated into the property’s shed.
Any purchase is also completed knowing the hard work building a reputation is complete and Lime Rock has already established a respected international reputation for excellence.
New Zealand wine critic Michael Cooper has awarded Lime Rock’s Grüner Veltliner five stars over three years and considers it a potential classic. World respected wine critic Jancis Robinson listed the Lime Rock 2009 Pinot Noir in her top 100 red wine list in the world for 2012 describing it as very Burgundian.
Gold Medals have been awarded for Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Grüner Veltliner, the most recent at the 2021 Royal Easter Show wine awards for the Pinot Gris.
“Lime Rock has been a passion and a labour of love for the vendors, and the recognition they have received is well earnt. As they seek to retire, they are eager to see Lime Rock taken to the next level by a new generation of owner,” says Hunter.
The estate, with its unplanted area in pasture, offers potential for further vineyard plantings if desired. Meanwhile, thanks to its superb elevation with views extending right across to the Ruahines there are multiple house sites to select from, or even the potential to build a dedicated wedding and events centre, capitalising on its central location and idyllic positioning.
“Lime Rock represents a rare opportunity for anyone who may have long wanted their own estate, but did not want the risk of starting from scratch.
“The label and the land gives buyers the surety of a reputable wine label, but also the opportunity to explore other business opportunities within the property’s boundaries,” says Hunter.
The property is for sale by tender, closing Wednesday April 28.