Montana Wines

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Montana Wines
Wholly owned subsidiary
Industry wine
Founded 1961
Headquarters Auckland, New Zealand
Number of employees
750 (permanent)
Parent Pernod-Ricard

Montana Wines now referred to as Brancott Estate, is New Zealand's largest wine company, owning vineyards in Hawkes Bay, Marlborough, and Waipara.


Montana was founded by a Croatian immigrant, Ivan Yukich (Jukić), who planted his first vines in 1934 in the Waitakere Ranges west of Auckland. The first wine was sold in 1944, and by 1960, 10 hectares were planted. Ivan's sons, Mate and Frank, had become involved, and they set up the company Montana Wines in 1961. By the end of the 1960s, the company had expanded further, planting land south of Auckland.

In 1973, the company expanded into Gisborne and Marlborough. Montana exported its first wines in 1980.

Montana was the main sponsor of the Montana New Zealand Book Awards from 1994 to 2009.[1]

Corporate history[edit]

Montana was listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange, initially as 'Corporate Investments Limited', and then as Montana Wines. Montana successfully purchased Corbans Wines in November 2002, New Zealand's second largest producer. Montana was then itself bought out by Allied Domecq in 2001,[2] after trumping Lion Nathan's takeover offer. Allied Domecq was then subsequently bought by Pernod-Ricard in 2005,[3] and Montana now operates under the name Pernod Ricard NZ Ltd.[4]


Montana has five wineries spread around the country.

Brancott Winery[edit]

Located on State Highway 1, just south of Blenheim, the Brancott winery predominantly produces Sauvignon blanc, and makes wine from Waipara and Marlborough regions. Many of the grapes for Montana's sparkling wines are pressed here, but secondary fermentation is carried out at the Tamaki Winery. It was opened in 1977.

Church Road Winery[edit]

Founded in 1897, the Church Road Winery is one of the three oldest in the Hawkes Bay. The first commercial Cabernet Sauvignon in New Zealand was produced here in 1949 by Tom McDonald. The Church Road facility was purchased by Montana in 1988. In recent years, the winery has increased its operation (with the closure of the Corbans Hawkes Bay winery) and the expansion of the Church Road brand portfolio.

Corbans Winery[edit]

The Corbans winery was established by McWilliam's Wines in 1981, changing hands to Cooks in 1984, Corbans in 1987, and Montana in 2000. It was a more commercial scale facility than Church Road and contributed to Longridge, Corbans, Verde, Huntaway and Robard & Butler brands. In 2012, the winery was closed with most of its production integrated into the nearby Church Road facility.

Montana Gisborne Winery[edit]

Montana Gisborne Winery was one of the largest wine-making facilities in the country. Montana's original facility was acquired in 1973, from the business established by Fredrich Wohnsiedler (whose name lives on in a Montana product line). Two further adjacent facilities were incorporated, from Penfolds NZ in 1986 and Corbans in 2000. In 2010, Pernod Ricard sold the winery and some associated brands to Indevin/Lion Nathan.

Tamaki Winery[edit]

All Montana wines are bottled at the Tamaki Winery in Auckland, opened in 1975. This also means that all sparkling wines undergo secondary fermentation (in the bottle) in Auckland.

Key Brands[edit]

Some of Montana's different brands.

Montana operates a large number of different brands. Ranked approximately in order of prestige

Church Road[edit]

The Tom McDonald Winery on Church Road which is now Church Road Winery, represents a flagship brand, although not obviously associated with Montana. It is located in Taradale near Napier, and produces Cabernet blends, Syrah, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon blanc. Church Road sub-labels are:

  • Tom (a range consisting of a premium bordeux Cabernet blend, a Syrah and a Chardonnay, some of New Zealand's most expensive wines)
  • Church Road Grand Reserve
  • Church Road McDonald Series
  • Church Road

Montana/Brancott Estate[edit]

In 2010, all Montana wines were renamed Brancott Estate to avoid confusion with the state of Montana, USA. Only the Winemaker Series carries the Montana brand name today in New Zealand. Montana wines had already been sold for over a decade in the USA under the Brancott Estate label.

Montana has several levels of wines under the label Brancott Estate. The most prestigious 'estate' label is the Letter Series, a range of Marlborough only wines. The letter used to relate to the name of the vineyard when wines came from other regions previously (e.g. O for Ormond, Gisborne).

  • Letter Series; "B" Sauvignon Blanc, "O" Chardonnay, "P" Gewürztraminer, "T" Pinot Noir, "R" Sauvignon Gris, "F" Pinot Gris.

Available wine series (in no particular order);

  • Montana Winemaker Series
  • Brancott Estate Series
  • Brancott Estate single region Terroir Series
  • Brancott Estate Letter Series
  • Brancott Estate organic Living Land Series
  • Brancott Estate low alcohol Flight Series
  • Brancott Estate Sparkling Series (including a sparkling Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris)


From 1988, Montana's premium sparkling wine brand has been a collaboration with Champagne Deutz of France.

  • Deutz Marlborough Cuvée
  • Deutz Blanc de Blanc
  • Deutz Pinot Noir Cuvée.


Pernod Ricard sold Lindauer to Lion Nathan in 2010. A standalone brand for sparkling wine.[5] Lindauer has won recognition internationally, and is New Zealand's most exported wine.

  • Lindauer Grandeur
  • Lindauer Special Reserve
  • Lindauer Special Reserve Brut Cuvée
  • Lindauer Special Reserve Blanc de Blancs
  • Lindauer Special Reserve Cuvée Riche
  • Lindauer Brut
  • Lindauer Brut Cuvée
  • Lindauer Fraise
  • Lindauer Sec
  • Lindauer Rosé
  • Lindauer Sauvignon
  • Lindauer Summer, Gisborne sparking Pinot Gris

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gibson, Nevil (May 11, 2009). "Montana Wines ends 15-year stint as book award sponsors". The National Business Review. Retrieved August 9, 2017. 
  2. ^ "Brand stays but Montana name to go". The New Zealand Herald. 19 August 2004. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  3. ^ "New Zealand wine to remain French". The New Zealand Herald. 13 January 2006. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Ray, Jonathan (27 November 2009). "Where to buy your wine for Christmas". The Daily Telegraph. London. 

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