Sweetwater, Hunter Valley vineyard estate sold

Sweetwater, Hunter Valley vineyard estate sold
Sweetwater, Hunter Valley vineyard estate sold

The property developer/hotelier Sam Arnaout has bought the prized Sweetwater, Hunter Valley vineyard estate.

His Mediterranean-style weekender had been listed at around $12 million by Duncan and Lyn Hardie through Alan Jurd, of Jurd’s Real Estate.

The 48 hectare Pokolbin property came with initial hopes of $30 million, but it was halved earlier this year to $15 million, and then reduced again to $12 million after April auction.

Arnaout, who heads up Iris Capital which entered the hotel industry in 1995, has a whole-floor penthouse in the Bennelong apartment complex which was bought from Margaret Maloney, the widow of the hotelier Cyril Maloney.

Sweetwater was more than a decade under construction.

Sweetwater, a world class winery located in the rolling hills of the Hunter Valley, was marketed as the most significant country vineyard estate in Australia.

Producing Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz on 16 hectares, there is also a cellar door and an olive grove.

The vineyard is one of the state’s oldest, having been first planted in 1829 by the pastoralist Richard Jones.

Winemaker Brian McGuigan advised on the layout of its more recent vines. 

The district’s highest previous vineyard sale was the $9.2 million paid in 2006 for the Rothbury Estate by vintner Michael Hope.

Loggerheads, the trophy Pokolbin vineyard estate last sold in 2008, remains listed with wonderful provenance being the former home of the late Len Evans and before that the Tyrrell family.

Robin and Judy Crawford secured the village-like residential homestead with three adjoining pavilions from Len Evan's widow, Trish Evans.. 

The seven bedroom, six bathroom homestead is Australian country-style in design, with European influences, extensively refurbished by the architect Michael Suttor.

It is now surrounded by Paul Bangay garden, with orchard and vegetable garden.

The 87 hectare is listed through Alan Jurd from Jurd's Real Estate who secured its 2008 sale.

Evans planted Shiraz and Gammay in the vineyard.

This article was first published in the Sunday Telegraph.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

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