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Freixenet Copestick picks up Wither Hills

Published:  10 February, 2022

Marlborough-based winery Wither Hills has joined the expanding family of Freixenet Copestick agencies, after the firm entered into a partnership with brand owner Lion New Zealand.

Established in 1994 and named after the landmark Wither Hills range that borders the vineyards, the estate was one of the pioneers of Marlborough wine culture and remains one of the top 5fiveMarlborough Wine brands in New Zealand today.

Since its inception, Wither Hills has been home to a small team of committed winemakers led by head winemaker Matt Large. The vineyards today are strategically sited throughout the Wairau Valley sub region of Marlborough, producing exceptional Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir – varieties that are synonymous with this verdant terrain.

Brewer Lion Nathan purchased Wither Hills in 2002 for the sum of $26 million.

Rob Hilton, head of operations, Freixenet Copestick, commented: “Demand for quality New Zealand wine is still strong, and with recent vintage shortfalls, we were keen to find a quality partner to bolster our portfolio offering in this region. Wither Hills is one of the pioneering brands that helped put Marlborough on the map in the 1990s and continues to create quality wines without pretence that capture the character of the Wairau Valley.

“We recognised the shared synergies of passion, hard work and a commitment to being sustainably ambitious and we look forward to working with them to bring their wines to an even wider audience in the UK.”

Matt Large added: “We are excited to work with the Freixenet Copestick team, both through our team here in the winery in New Zealand and our UK export manager to develop Wither Hills in the UK and Europe into our fourth decade. We are proud of our craft and passionate about building wines that are interesting and full of character, as such creating a partnership with Freixenet Copestick who understand quality and have the same passion is a great fit and something unique and inspiring.”

The Wither Hills wines are currently available through Slurp, Waitrose and Greene King.