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Marisco Vineyards in 600ha vineyard plan

Marisco Vineyards chief winemaker and proprietor Brent Marris is developing 600ha of Leefield Station in Waihopai Valley into vineyards. The remaining 900ha; over half of the station, will be dedicated to farming and the creation of a nursery, as Marris believes preserving Leefield Station in this way is integral to showcasing Marlborough and the Marisco brand and to securing business success. 
Planting of an 85ha vineyard with 200,000 sauvignon blanc plants began last month and a further 100ha will be planted with grapes each year for the next five years. When complete, the vineyard will grow sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot gris and possibly other varieties depending on the soil.

Acquisition of the 2,000ha Leefield Station in December 2012 bought the total of Marisco’s viticultural land in the Waihopai Valley to 2,265ha. Currently producing wine from 300ha, this new development will expand production at a crucial time when export markets for Marisco brands – the Ned and King’s Series – are growing significantly year on year.

Marris believes the market for an additional 200ha exists at present and is confident demand will continue to grow to meet the 600ha worth of production the new vineyard will facilitate: "This development is significant for Marisco Vineyards as it means we will be able to successfully meet the rising international demand for both The Ned and The King’s Series. The three trophies and over 30 gold medals we have won in the past five months in the UK,  Europe, Asia, the US and New Zealand are testament to the wines’  international popularity and exceptional quality. The development of Leefield Station is an exciting long term opportunity for Marisco."

Marris’ daughter Emma, 19, (pictured above in the vineyard with her father) is helping with the development while she is in Marlborough for the summer.  Emma is studying a bachelor of viticulture and oenology at Adelaide University; the same degree Brent did 30 years ago and is the third generation of the Marris family to work in the New Zealand wine industry.

30 December 2013 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor