Vineyard sales bring grape expectations from Asian investors

Vineyard sales bring grape expectations from Asian investors
Vineyard sales bring grape expectations from Asian investors

Offshore Asian investors as well as the local wine industry are eyeing up the collapsed Pettavel and Strathmore vineyards being sold by Knight Frank agents Michael Hede and Leigh Morris on behalf of receivers.

Hede expects a price of between $5 million and $6 million for the historic Pettavel Vineyard and between $2 million and $3 million for the Strathmore Vineyard, both about 70 kilometres from Melbourne.

The vineyards, up for sale by expression of interest by July 13, are available for purchase in one line or separately.

Hede and Morris were appointed by receivers PricewaterhouseCoopers three weeks ago to sell the vineyards, which continue to trade.

Pettavel (pictured above), located at 65 Pettavel Road, Waurn Ponds in Geelong is a 45-hectare winery, vineyard and 915-square-metre restaurant. It features 12.5 hectares of shiraz vines and a 6.4-hectare olive grove.

Strathmore (pictured above) at Muhlebach Road, Sutherland Creek, is a 129-hectare vineyard with two renovated residences and three kilometres of waterfrontage on the Moorabooi River.

Hede sold a 40.5-hectare winery in the Macedon ranges for $1.8 million.

The owners of Pettavel, Mike and Sandi Fitzpatrick, listed the vineyard up for sale in October 2009.

The better price expectations for Pettavel are due to its state-of the art winery facility, which has refrigeration tanks capable of storing 1.5 million litres wine, its cool-climate location and a well-known label.

Pettavel has been producing wines for the Asian market for last five years.

Strathmore’s selling points are its river frontage and the installation of a desalination plant that allows either saline or bore water to be used for irrigation.

Chinese investors have already snapped up red wine vineyards in South Australia and Victoria, with real-estate firm Gaetjens Langley setting up an office Guangzhou to cater for the demand from China.

In April Gaetjens sold a small wine business with vineyard, residence, cellar door and brand in the Barossa Valley for between $2.5 million and $3 million to a Chinese buyer, the AFR reported.

Acton Real Estate also reports fielding inquiries from at least one Chinese delegation a week in Western Australia's Margaret River region.

The expressions of interest come as the Cheviot Kirribilly Vineyard Property Group, which owns 923 hectares of vineyards, reveals it has run out of cash to fund the business and plans to sell six of its vineyards by the end of the year.

An oversupply of grapes is the chief reason for the current challenges facing the viticulture industry.

The 2011 crop of 1.6 million tonnes exceeded market estimates.

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer

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