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Brent Marris to add 600ha to keep up with demand for Ned and other Marisco Vineyards wines

Published:  17 December, 2013

Marlborough-based Marisco Vineyards is to develop 600ha of Leefield Station in Waihopai Valley on the back of rising market demand for its New Zealand wines, particularly the Ned and King's Series brands.

Owned by chief winemaker and proprietor, Brent Marris, the expansion comes after the 2,000ha Leefield Station acquisition in December 2012. It brings the total of Marisco's viticultural land in the Waihopai Valley to 2,265ha. 

Planting of 85ha of the vineyard with 200,000 Sauvignon Blanc vines began last month, while 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, plus other varieties depending on the soil.

The remaining 900ha; which equates to over half of the station, will be dedicated to farming and the creation of a nursery which Marris believes is integral to showcasing Marlborough and the Marisco brand and to securing business success.   

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". Marris believes the market for an additional 200ha exists at present and is confident demand will continue to grow.

Marris said: "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 USA 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, is currently helping with the development. She 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.