11 Sep 2018
While Sapor starts out with seven South Island wine brands in its portfolio, CEO Louis Vavasour says the company's future will not be limited to wine and is likely to include other horticultural products in the future.
Sapor is the latest initiative in the April 2017 partnership between Booster KiwiSaver and Awatere River Wine Company, established by Vavasour in 2007. The launch of Sapor also marks the partnership's acquisition of Bannock Brae Wines in Central Otago.
Vavasour says Sapor is built on his wine-making philosophy of delivering luxury and premium quality wines in the flavour profile and style that best reflects the area in which they are grown.
"We focus on distinctive flavours, intensity of flavour, and breadth of flavours," he says. "So we chose the name Sapor [pronounced 'say-per'] because it's the Latin root of 'savour' - and the alluring quality in something that gives it flavour.
"It ties everything together under the same philosophy in one selling platform. The focus is on wine for now but we won't be restricted to wine or to particular regions."
Vavasour hinted at products such as avocadoes, kiwifruit and even hops being part of Sapor's future portfolio.
"It's out there in that it is forward-thinking and unlike any existing concept. People may not get it at first because in some ways it is ahead of its time. We like to push the boundaries."
He says Sapor will continue the growth of sales to on and off-premise trade customers, both in NZ and the company's many export markets, and also sell direct to consumers.
As well as being CEO of Sapor, Vavasour will retain the role of Winemaking Director - "I was brought up in the Awatere Valley making, growing and tasting wine - it's in my blood."
He will continue to oversee the making of Sapor's wines under the Bannock Brae, Awatere River, Waimea, Anna's Way, Goldfields, Spinyback and Saveé Sea brands, as well as being hands-on with his pet project, a luxury range of three wines to be released under the 'LV by Louis Vavasour' label over the next month.
Vavasour says Sapor's brands share the common values of intuition, minimal intervention, boldness, excellence as well as being sustainable and most also vegan-friendly.
He sees the addition of Bannock Brae to the Sapor portfolio as an opportunity to maintain the integrity of its distinctive Central Otago wines.
"As well as acquiring the existing Bannock Brae stock and brand, we have secured the original vineyard site in Bannockburn to build on the history of the brand and the hard work of the Brown family who founded the brand," Vavasour says.
A significant capital investment in the Vavasour family-owned Awatere River Wine Company from game-changing KiwiSaver fund Booster in April last year heralded a new era for the Marlborough producer.
Booster's investment included the acquisition of Nelson's Waimea Family Estate Wines, as well as the purchase of additional vineyards in Marlborough and Nelson to contribute to company growth.
Vavasour says it is the combination of Booster's investment and his desire to push the boundaries that has resulted in the launch of Sapor Makers & Growers.
The Sapor Makers & Growers brand was developed in collaboration with Guy Pask and his team at Double Lux in Christchurch.
Sapor products are distributed to trade customers in New Zealand by Macvine and Federal Merchants & Co and are available in leading wine stores, restaurants and liquor outlets or via www.sapor.co.nz.
Visit www.sapor.co.nz for further information.
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