The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Waiheke Island winery goes up for sale

Tantalus Estate on Waiheke Island is up for sale by tender from December 2, 2023.

The 8.3894ha/20-acre estate in the Onetangi Valley houses a state-of-the-art winery producing Bordeaux and Rhône style wines, a boutique craft beer brewery, a bespoke lounge bar and a 160 seat restaurant.

The property has been owned by the Aitken family for the past 10 years.

Majority owner Bruce Aitken his wife lived in Canada for 20 years before returning to New Zealand in 2013 with their family.

Their son Campbell and his wife Carrie found the property, and knew it had outstanding potential and the perfect location along the Onetangi Miracle Mile.

“Our goal as a family was to bring the ‘wow factor’ to life here,” says Aitken.

“As you come up the driveway and see the striking Cape Dutch style building and the gardens, we’ve created, you think ‘wow’.

“As you enter the building and see the bespoke chandeliers created from old sauvignon blanc vines from the estate, you think ‘wow’.

“And, as you taste the wine and beer that we produce here, as you experience the hospitality and service and as you enjoy a meal in our restaurant, you think ‘wow’.”

The main hospitality building with its bell tower was designed by Cheshire Architects, while the winery was planned to blend into the hillside of the valley.

It features square wine tanks to save space, and three South American ‘concrete eggs’ help to create Tantalus’ unique expressions of Syrah, Chardonnay and Merlot.

Guests can also book out the private ‘Decanter Room’ that features a unique collection of Tantalus cases.

A Tantalus – the inspiration for the Estate’s name – is an antique case for glasses and decanters, displaying the best drinks in the house and to keep them secure under key. The keys are a motif that extends to the Tantalus logo.

In recent years, a wetland on the property has been replanted with thousands of native plants and native birds and wildlife have returned.

The Estate has received multiple awards over the years, most recently winning the Hospitality New Zealand Excellence Awards 2023, Destination of the Year.

It is rated as the ‘#1 Things to Do on Waiheke Island’ by Trip Advisor and was named as one of the Top Wineries in New Zealand by the 2023 The Real Review.

“The sale of a property of this significance rarely comes along and will likely attract attention locally and internationally,” says Matthew Smith of Ray White Waiheke, who is managing the sale of the property.

“The new owner will not only take over a premium piece of real estate but also a thriving business. This truly is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that awaits would-be buyers.”

Aitken says making the decision to sell the property was a difficult one.

“The last couple of years with the challenges of COVID-19 and the knock-on effects to the hospitality industry have not been easy for our family.

“It is our hope that Tantalus Estate will go to a new owner who will treasure it as much as we do, taking what we have started here and developing it further so that this unique location remains an icon for Waiheke and the Hauraki Gulf.”

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