Armit Wines has added boutique New Zealand winery Stonecroft to its portfolio and claims it will now be distributing “some of the finest Syrah in the New World”.

The family-owned Stonecroft business owns one of the oldest vineyards in the Gimblett Gravels region and is most famous for its Syrah.

It was founded in the early 1980s by SDr Alan Limmer and was the first vineyard to plant Syrah commercially in New Zealand.

Dermot McCollum and Andria Monin bought the winery in 2010 after Dr Limmer retired, and they have tried to continue producing wine with “great purity of fruit and elegance”.

Jacques-Etienne le Clerc, buyer at Armit Wines, said: “When I first tried Stonecroft, I was impressed by the elegance and the style of the wines, as well as Dermot and Andria’s determination to produce wines with a strong sense of place. Stonecroft is a fantastic addition to Armit’s portfolio and we are very pleased to be able to constantly source some of the finest wines in the World.”

Stonecroft joins a portfolio that includes Gaja, Tenuta dell’Ornellaia, Tenuta San Guido and Bruno Giacosa in Italy, as well as established icons of the fine wine world such as Château Lafleur and Domaine Leflaive.

Monin said: “We think that the company will be a great fit for Stonecroft, sharing our commitment to quality and passion for wine.  For a small winery, it is also reassuring to see Armit Wines’ real interest in the wineries and winemakers they work with. We are excited that our wines will soon be available in the UK.”

The 10ha under vine is worked by hand with two vineyards being organic and a third one in conversion.

Gimmlet Gravels enjoys warm summers and free-draining soil and is said to produce Syrahs that can stand up to the best offerings from the Northern Rhône.

The wines will be available in the UK from January 21 and will be presented at the New Zealand Annual Tasting in London on January 18.