Houghton opts for new facility

PROGRESSIVE expansion of its vineyard and winery operations will result in the Houghton Wine Company building a new facility in the South West next year.

The company, a fully-owned subsidiary of Adelaide-based BRL Hardy, is on track to produce 8,200 tonnes of fruit this year as part of its ongoing expansion program.

Houghton senior wine maker Larry Cherubino said progressive growth during the next four years would result in the company

processing 13,000 tonnes of grapes by 2004.

“We are developing the Houghton winery to a point where it can efficiently put through 8,000 tonnes through a new winery,” he said.

The site of the new winery is yet to be decided but will be somewhere in WA’s South West.

Houghton has about 400 hectares of grapes under cultivation and access to a further 800 hectares from suppliers.

BRL Hardy holds 50 per cent equity in the Brookland Valley Vineyard in Margaret River which is planning a new Chardonny release in the near future.

Meanwhile, the company has signed an exclusive agreement with major US wine importer Banfi Vintners to distribute its Stonehaven brand wines in the US.

This will raise the overall target of sales from 0.3 million cases in the US to two million over the next five years. At the same time sales to Japan will increase from 50,000 cases to some 0.5 million.

The group’s net profit for the 1998 full year was $38.55 million, projected to increase to $48 million for 1999-2000.

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