Lifestyle restaurant and winery for sale

10:56 AM Wednesday September 10, 2014 Colin Taylor

Exterior view of Ohinemuri restaurant and winery in the Karangahake Gorge, at Moresby St, Mackaytown, Hauraki between Waihi and Paeroa in the northern Waikato.

The Ohinemuri Winery & Restaurant on State Highway 2 above the Karangahake Gorge between Waihi and Paeroa in the northern Waikato is on the market after two decades successful operation as a licensed dining establishment and function venue.

The property in Moresby St, Mackaytown, Hauraki, encompasses 1.53 hectares of freehold land with on-site buildings comprising a restaurant with a small accommodation facility, a family home and winery.

“The current owners wish tolease back just the winery building so they can continue their wine making business,” says Brendon Bradley of Bayleys Tauranga who is marketed the property and business for sale by deadline private treaty closing on Thursday, September 18.

“However, if the right offer came along they would consider selling the wine-making business and brand out too.”  

He says winemakers are renowned for their passion about what they produce. “Horst and Wendy Hillerichare no exception which is why they would prefer to negotiate a lease-back of the winery building with a view to supplying the adjoining restaurant and function venue with Ohinemuri branded wines,” Bradley says.

“But they are also open to selling the business lock, stock and naturally… barrels - to the right purchaser.”

Bradleys says the business has the potential to expand with the increasing popularity of the nearby Hauraki Rail Trail

“This opened in early in 2012 resulting in visitor numbers through the gorge rising dramatically. This has also had a positive impact on the Ohinemuri hospitality venue which located half way along one of the track’s three stages.

“It is this recent boom in regional eco’ tourism that has inspired the owners of this long-standing food and beverage business to cash up their investment,” Bradley says.

The Ohinemuri venue’s original buildings were designed and constructed in 1980 by an Englishman who was previously a set designer with the Royal Opera in Covent Garden. He based the design style on buildings he had seen in Latvia during his European operatic travels.

After a successful 21 year trading history, the Hillerichs have decided to divest their ownership in the hospitality and accommodation services side of the business – placing it on the market for sale in time for a new owner to potentially capitalise on the upcoming busy summer tourist season.

Bradley says the hospitality business is predominantly run as a ‘lifestyle’ operation – with the Ohinemuri brand producing a selection of white wines including chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, riesling, gewürztraminer, pinot gris and a pinot noir. Grapes are sourced from Gisborne, Marlborough, and the Wairarapa.

The 262 sq m restaurant was the first structure built at the complex in 1980. It was refurbished in 1993 and extended in 2006. The building encompasses a wine shop and tasting room; main dining room with garden courtyard; commercially graded kitchen, a second mezzanine-level dining space and commercial accommodation upstairs.

A one bedroom apartment housed in the original loft above the restaurant has its own kitchenette and bathroom and sleeps four people. The unit rents for $120 to $165 per night.

The 172 sq m purpose built winery was constructed in 1993. Founded on concrete flooring, it has a 10 metre pitched roof ceiling adding to the ambience encircling an array of tanks, chillers and interconnecting pipes.

The sale includes the owner operator’s family residence – a substantial four bedroom dwelling with three toilets and two bathrooms.

The Ohinemuri Winery & Restaurant is open seven days a week in summer from 10 am to 5 pm with a licence allowing for 20 late night ‘special functions’ a year and scaling back to a Wednesday to Sunday operation over winter. The business employs a full-time chef, two part-time staff; casual food, beverage and retail personnel as required - in addition to the Hillerichs.

True Commercial - Ohinemuri winery & restaurant Karangahake Gorge - interior.jpg

Interior view of Ohinemuri restaurant, Karangahake Gorge. 

The Hauraki Rail Trail was created through a partnership between the Hauraki District Council, Matamata-Piako District Council, Thames-Coromandel District Council, the Department of Conservation, and The New Zealand Cycle Trail project.

A recent report by the Government’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment noted the huge economic benefits which cycle trails such as Hauraki had delivered to provincial New Zealand.

The report highlighted that respondents visiting the cycle trail regions “only or mainly because of the cycle trails” spent an average of between $131 and $176 per person per day – with 20 per cent of participating businesses involved with the routes indicating that they had expanded since the opening of thecycle trail in their region.

“More than a third of business survey participants indicated they had seen an increase in the number of customers served by their business, with flowon effects in business income, turnover and business expenditure, but also in profit,” Bradley says quoting the Government report.

“Corresponding with estimates of economic contribution made as a result of the Trail User survey, positive impact was most often seen by businesses around the Hauraki Rail Trail.”

Bradley says the research noted that specifically for the Hauraki Rail Trail, the track attracted what it identified as: “larger numbers of local users and visitors on day trips from neighbouring population centres (such as Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga), that users were often more familyoriented, and that a larger proportion of users walked the trail.”

True Commercial - Brendon Bradley, Bayleys Tauranga.jpg (1)

Mug shot of Brendon Bradley who is quoted in the story