Villa Maria winery to sell surplus land in bid to raise money for market expansion

Villa Maria Estate is selling 31 hectares of surplus land around its headquarters in Mangere, Auckland, the company said on Thursday.

The sale comes as the winery makes a move to raise additional capital in order to invest in everything from viticulture and wineries to branding and marketing in a bid to "meet increasing demands in key markets".

The company's chief executive Justin Liddell said although the site in Mangere had a "special place" in the business' history, the land value "has increased to a point where it's not possible to generate a reasonable return on these vineyards".

"We will continue to operate our Auckland winery, bottling, warehousing, head office and hospitality functions on the remaining 10 hectares," Liddell said. 

He said the company was also exploring raising capital from interested parties who want to support its growth plans.

"It's early days and we don't want to speculate on who a new investor might be or the nature or extent of the investment.," said Liddell.

"We will work through the options and go from there. We don't expect any decisions to be made until the first quarter of next year and our day-to-day activities will go on as usual."

Liddell said the company was eyeing up "untapped potential" in the North America and Asia markets.