A whatu mauri held on Rangitāne-owned whenua in central Blenheim this morning marks the start of the construction of a new urban winery, which will be leased to and operated by local boutique wine company, Astrolabe.
The whenua, purchased by Rangitāne through its Treaty Settlement process, sits adjacent to the Ōpaoa River at the end of Horton Street. Rangitāne Kaiwhakahaere Matua (General Manager) Corey Hebberd says “this development forges a new, long-term partnership between Rangitāne and Astrolabe. The development enables Astrolabe to house winery operations and a unique hospitality offering in Marlborough – whilst at the same time further unlocking the potential of Rangitāne’s commercial asset base”.
Astrolabe Wines is owned and run by the Waghorn Family. Simon Waghorn, owner and winemaker, sees the winery development as the beginning of a new era for Astrolabe working alongside his family in the winery. “To have our own winery to process the handpicked, smaller volume wines and a cellar door to meet customers face to face, right in the middle of town is an amazing opportunity,” says Waghorn. The Waghorn family is grateful to be joining Rangitāne in this project.
Libby Waghorn Levett, General Manager, continues “As a multigenerational business, owned and operated here in Marlborough we’re thrilled to be investing in the Blenheim town centre as a real hub for the arts, and artisanal food and beverage production. We’re so glad to be working with Rangitāne and their long-term vision and commitment to our region.”