Pernod Ricard NZ
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Pernod Ricard NZ is New Zealand's largest wine-maker, formed when Pernod Ricard took over Allied Domecq, which had previously taken over Montana Wines. The companies operations and labels are still largely associated with Montana (and also Corbans Wines, itself taken over by Montana). The company has operations based in Marlborough, Gisborne, Hawke's Bay and North Canterbury.
The company has a staff of around 750, which increases to over 1,000 during vintage. The company itself is a division of Pernod Ricard Pacific, which is a subsidiary of Pernod Ricard, one of the world's largest makers of spirits and alcohol.
Corbans Wines was the second largest producer of wine in New Zealand until they were purchased by Montana Wines in November 2002. Corbans now exists as a label of Pernod Ricard NZ following several takeovers of Montana. Corban Wines was started in 1902 by an Assid Abraham Corban; a Lebanese immigrant who arrived in New Zealand in 1892. He purchased for £320 a 10-acre (40,000 m2) block of land in Henderson, Auckland, although at the time this was quite some distance from what was known as Auckland. He named the block of land Mt Lebanon Vineyards.
The first vintage was in 1908, coinciding with the local electorate voting in prohibition, meaning he was unable to sell wine from the property. Assid's son Wadier took over wine-making in 1916. By the 1920s the Corban family were the largest winemakers in New Zealand. Development of different vineyards by the five sons of Assid Corban continued until 1963 when the partnership of the five brothers was converted into Corban Wines Ltd. The family were unable to finance increasing competition with Montana Wines, with Rothmans (later Magnum Corporation) taking a shareholding. By 1979, Rothmans had taken full control of Corbans.
Assid Corban's original plantings were Black Hamburghs, Chasselas, Hermitage, and Cabernet Sauvignon. By the 1960s, Corbans produced New Zealand's first commercial Müller-Thurgau, Pinotage, and Chardonnay wines.
By the 1980s, Corbans was producing wines under the label Corbans, but also Stoneleigh and Robard and Butler. While Corbans are no longer associated with the Corban family, a descendant, Alwyn Corban, owns Ngatarawa Wines.
- Cooper, Michael. (1988). The Wines and Vineyards of New Zealand (3rd Ed.); photography by Robin Morrison; foreword by Jancis Robinson. Auckland: Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 0-340-43137-7.