The iconic Seresin Estate winery has been sold to two Marlborough winemakers
Media Release: Embargoed to 21st March 12:00pm NZ time
New winemaking hub to promote innovative and collaborative winemaking to celebrate the diversity of the Marlborough wine region
Ben Glover and Rhyan Wardman have bought the iconic Seresin winery, four kilometres west of Renwick. The sale of the winery also includes three hectares of organic vineyard plantings. The pair will create a winemaking hub for winemakers championing small-batch, single-site wines.
The business partners are winemakers born in the 70s, who loved the 80s and met at wine college in the 90s. With more than fifty years winemaking experience between them, the purchase marks a return to what they love, producing wines which showcase the depth and diversity of the Marlborough region.
Rhyan Wardman began his winemaking career as the inaugural assistant winemaker at Seresin Estate in the 90s, this new venture will see him come full circle.
“I was excited when the opportunity arose to purchase the Seresin winery. Michael Seresin, and the Seresin brand, has always pushed the boundaries and remained committed to producing premium, small-batch, organic wines. The winery provides the perfect site to continue that vision, allowing us to create a facility that promotes single-site identification, while stimulating intellectual expression. We want to create a space that will allow producers to make wine that displays the real fabric of Marlborough” says Rhyan.
Ben Glover says their new winery, aptly named The Coterie, will allow winemakers without a dedicated winery to make wine in an environment that celebrates diversity and allows them to be completely involved with the production of their own wines.
“We’re passionate about what we have in our region and getting this into the premium imbibers wine glass. We hope our winery will be the place for like-minded producers to collaborate. We see it as a place to innovate, share ideas and push the style boundaries,” says Ben.
The sale is a part of a decision by Michael Seresin to downsize and refocus on producing super-premium, small parcel wines. Seresin wines will continue to be made in the winery.
In future, the facility will also provide a space for hosting customers and visitors. In time Ben and Rhyan hope it will become a meeting space and workshop for Marlborough wine producers to develop ideas and collaborate.
“While I recognise that Marlborough needs large-scale winemaking facilities to keep up with consumer demand for our Sauvignon Blanc, both Rhyan and I intrinsically believe that it is vital to showcase the pure diversity of our wine region for long-term sustainability. Connecting passionate people, their sense of place, and single-site winegrowing is the key to showing this” says Ben.
Both Ben and Rhyan are determined that their new wine business will celebrate quirky diversity and showcase the depth and breadth of what the Marlborough wine region has to offer. The pair takes possession of the winery from May 1 and will be taking on clients for the 2019 vintage.
Ben Glover Ben is a born and bred Marlburian, from a fifth-generation farming family. A winemaker, vineyard and wine brand owner, Ben runs Glover Family Vineyards with his brother Jack. Together they produce premium wines under the family brand Zephyr. Their single-vineyard wines are grown on family vineyards they own with parents, Owen and Wendy. Since 2008 they have been exporting their wines to markets around the world. Ben is a former Wine Marlborough board member and chair of the Bragato Wine Awards, with more than 20 years’ experience as a wine judge.
He was also chair of Pinot Noir New Zealand, one of the world’s largest and most prestigious Pinot Noir events, held every four years in Wellington. Under Ben’s leadership, the event was awarded ‘Best Business Event of the Year’ in 2017.
Rhyan Wardman Rhyan grew up among asparagus fields and apple orchards in the Bay of Plenty, which kindled in him the idea that agriculture was his vocation. An uncle suggested winemaking which led him to Lincoln University where he met Ben. After an extended OE making wine for Vina Errazuriz in Chile and the Lurton Brothers in Spain, among others, he came home to take up the role as inaugural assistant winemaker for Seresin Estate, exactly 22 years ago. Further offshore stints found him immersed in the U.K. wine trade with Western Wines, and co-founding Origin Wine in South Africa in the early 2000s. He held the position of Wine Director for Constellation Europe before returning to New Zealand to join Indevin as Chief Winemaker, becoming Chief Operating Officer in 2013. In 2015 he joined Giesen Group as the Marlborough General Manager. He is a former Wine Marlborough board member and chairman, and is a board director and shareholder of Sounds Air