The New Zealand Wine Company Limited (formerly Grove Mill Wine Company Limited) is listed on the NZAX Market ("New Zealand Alternative Market") operated by the NZX (New Zealand Exchange Limited).
The New Zealand Wine Company is an integrated wine company involved in growing grapes, winemaking and bottling, and in the marketing and sales of premium quality wines in New Zealand and to export markets with the brands Grove Mill, one of Marlborough's celebrated brands, Sanctuary and Frog Haven.
The NZWC group comprises The NZWC as the principal operating company at present with three wholly owned subsidiaries. Grove Mill Wine Company Limited and Sanctuary Wine Company Limited are the respective direct marketing companies for their respective "Grove Mill" and "Sanctuary" brands. In addition, Bedford Road Investments Limited is a dormant company available for strategic opportunities or for land investments. The Company's 2007 vintage crush of 3,647 tonnes, being 2,251 tonnes of NZWC's own grapes, exceeded the previous record crush by over 640 tonnes.
The New Zealand Wine Company's vision is to:
"Build successful premium New Zealand wine brands globally through environmentally sustainable business practices"
Grove Mill Wine Company Limited was established in 1988 when a group of Marlborough grape growers and business people recognised the potential of Marlborough as a premier wine-growing region, and the opportunity to develop a truly distinctive Marlborough style.
To help realise this potential David Pearce was recruited as Winemaker.
The Grove Mill winery was set up in an historic malt-house, a Marlborough landmark for the past 150 years. The malt-house is situated in the Grove area and is known as the Old Mill, hence the name Grove Mill.
The early vintages achieved many wine awards to national and international acclaim. Customer demand and associated sales created the need to increase the winery capacity. With expansion of the historic malt-house limited, 16 hectares were purchased at the current winery site in Marlborough's Waihopai Valley. The new winery was officially opened by the Prime Minister, the Hon. Jim Bolger, on 3 September 1994. The capacity was designed for processing 500 tonnes (mt) of grapes.
The Company changed its name from Grove Mill Wine Company Limited to The New Zealand Wine Company Limited on 17 June 2002.
The Company increased processing capacity to 3,100 tonnes in 2003-2006 with emphasis on a modern white wine production cellar. This will enable rationalisation of exisiting operations for greater production efficiency.
The overall strategy is to develop the Grove Mill brand as the Company's flagship Ultra premium brand sold throughout the world whilst the Sanctuary and to a lesser extent Frog Haven brands will chiefly service the supermarket distribution as exclusive own label brands in export markets. The Company has two other registered brands, Blackbirch and Lansdowne, under active consideration for use as part of the Company's brand strategy.
Since inception Grove Mill has established a history of making profits, paying dividends, and enhancing share value.
NZWC sources its grapes from a total land area of approximately 70 hectares of owned/leased vineyards and a further 76 hectares of Marlborough grapes under contract. Altogether, grapes sourced from owned/leased vineyards and from growers on per acre agreements and/or long term contracts comprise approximately 70% of the Company intake. This allows the winery to maintain a high degree of control over quality of intake.
All Company owned vineyards are growing on disease resistant root stock, as will new plantings.
The Company sources grapes from a number of contract growers who closely liase with Company Viticulturist, Doug Holmes, to ensure the Company's grape quality parameters are met for each vintage. The total land area of the Company's contract growers, who are all located in Marlborough, is approximately 76 Ha. Three contract growers are on per acre agreements and the remainder are on contract terms ranging from 1 - 11 years (some with renewals currently under negotiation).
The Company's current winery was built in 1994 to enable efficient processing of an increasing tonnage under strict quality control. It is fully insulated and includes a "hot room" (a first for a New Zealand Winery) for control of secondary ferments and a bottling hall expanded with a state-of-the art 2500 bottles per hour Italian bottling line together with an adjacent warehouse.
The original winery was designed to process 500 mt however this facility was subsequently increased to a capacity of 1000 mt.
The Company has completed the construction of a new winery building which is part of an ongoing project that has more than doubled the size and capacity of the winery to 3,100 mt. This will enable fine-tuning of the winemaking process with separate red and white wine fermentation areas, separate finishing area, a purpose built barrel hall. The winery waste management system incorporates the use of a natural wetland area beside the winery, which serves as a nutrient sink. The environmental integrity of this winery waste system is measured by the return of frogs and bird life to the wetland sanctuary.
Despite the New Zealand market being over-supplied locally and with increasing pressure from cheaper imported varieties, Grove Mill and Sanctuary have maintained and increased its domestic sales base.
Domestic distribution is undertaken by Independent Liquor NZ Limited for the Grove Mill and Sanctuary brands.
Even in the early stages of the Company's development, it was recognised that export markets would have an important role to play in the future of the Company.
In 1996 Grove Mill secured a supply arrangement with the UK supermarket chain, Sainsbury. This has been a success for both parties and orders have increased annually since then.
While the main export markets remain the United Kingdom, United States and Australia, new markets in Europe (Germany, Sweden, Denmark and Belgium), in the Americas (Canada, Barbados and Brazil), in Asia (Thailand, Hong Kong and Japan) and in the Pacific (Fiji particularly) are making significant additional contributions to volume and profits.
STRATEGIES & STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT
Principal business strategies are to
- Build the Company's position through environmentally sustainable practices (refer http://www.grovemill.co.nz/philosophy/SustainablePractices.aspx for more information);
- Position the Grove Mill brand as a preferred provider of highest quality New Zealand wines to premium outlets globally;
- Use the Sanctuary, Frog Haven and other brands to support key customer needs for New Zealand wines;
- Expand the winery production infrastructure while maintaining and improving current quality, safety and environmental standards;
- Develop and maintain a diversfied portfolio of cost effective, high quality owned and contracted vineyards producing grape varietals tailored to winery and market demands;
- Build on the performance culture that sets clear Board, management and individual targets, recognising and rewarding the maximising of Shareholder value;
- Expand the Company's existing business base and grow via acquisitions where these fit with existing strategy and add value for all Shareholders.
The Directors are responsible for the governance, strategic development and business affairs of the Company working through the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and the management team in order to achieve the main objective of securing long term sustainable increase in Shareholder value.
ALTON JAMIESON - CHAIRMAN
Alton Jamieson was elected to the Board in September 1999 and as Chairman in September 2007. Alton's business career has covered the banking, transport and waste management industries. He has been Managing Director of publicly listed Waste Management N.Z. Limited and CEO and a director of Pacific Waste Management Pty Limited, Australia. He has been a director of Blues Franchise Limited and he retired as a director of Waste Management N.Z. Limited in December 2002 after serving as its Chairman for 12 years. For the three years through to 2006 Alton was an independent contractor to the New Zealand Rugby Union, working on a number of projects. Alton is a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management and is an Accredited Director and Fellow of the Institute of Directors in New Zealand.
David Appleby was appointed to the Board in July 2007. David is a director of Appleby Cotter & Associates Ltd, an Auckland based business specialising in business valuations and business advisory services. David has a career in chartered accounting and currently holds a number of directorships of private companies. David has been the Executive Chairman of publicly listed Ceramco Corporation Ltd as well as a past Chairman of the NZ Hockey Federation. He is a Chartered Accountant, member of the Institute of Directors, member of the Arbitrators and Mediators Institute and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Secretaries.
Bill Wallace was elected to the Board in September 2007. This followed a career as a manager with Public Trust, Managing Director of Hannahs Footwear, Operations Director of the NZ Rugby Union and an offshore assignment with the International Rugby Board. He has held directorships for over 20 years, is a member of the Institute of Directors and currently Chairman of four private companies in Marlborough, Chair of a shopping centre company in Palmerston North, a director of a Cinema business and President of the NZ Retailers Association.