Chinese company buys local North East winery
A LARGE number of people turned up for the auction of Auldstone Cellars in Glenrowan, only to be turned away at the gate with the news that the winery had already been sold earlier that hour.
The entire property and all items that were going to be in the clearing sale the following day were purchased by a private Chinese company after inspecting the land on Tuesday.
The 90 acre vineyard is mostly planted to Shiraz and Cabernet, with some Chardonnay Riesling, Merlot and its award-winning Muscat.
After more than 30 years manning the cellars at Auldstone, Michael and Nancy Reid were in shock at the sudden sale of their entire business.
“I’m thrilled, but it’s a bit overwhelming at the moment,” Mrs Reid told the Wangaratta Chronicle.
Ruralco property agent Malcolm Gunn said it was a very good result, but due to the private nature of the sale, could not disclose the price paid.
Last week they were hoping for $750,000 to $850,000 at auction.
“The important part is that the cellar door is going to remain open,” said Mr Gunn.
“They want to keep it going with local staff, and develop an export market.”
The Reid’s will continue to operate at the cellar door until settlement takes place in 90 days, after which they may be asked to take on a management role for the new owners.
“We are pleased with the price and delighted that the brand will keep going,” said Mrs Reid.
“It is excellent news that the Chinese value the region and its wines.”
The couple will now look to retire to their residential property in Wangaratta. “We are torn,” said Mrs Reid. “It is the end of an era and we have made some lovely friendships, but it’s wonderful that we have an opportunity to step into a new stage of life.”
FAREWELL: Michael Reid from Auldstone Cellars has mixed emotions saying goodbye to his farm home of 30 years. PHOTO: Jarrah Loh