WELL-KNOWN vineyard and cellar door Waratah Hills has sold.
Located near the entrance to the iconic Wilsons Promontory National Park, Waratah Hills has been acquired by three business partners who all have properties within 30 minutes of the vineyard.
The 16-hectare property includes a four-bedroom residence, cellar door and approximately four hectares of vineyards planted to high-quality Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines.
Gippsland, which is now being marketed as the Pinot Coast, is fast becoming known as a region producing some of Australia’s finest cool climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay varieties.
Colliers International’s Duncan McCulloch and James Beer brokered the deal.
“We received a large number of inquiries for the property under an ‘expressions of interest’ process,” said Mr McCulloch.
“Waratah Hills is a premium vineyard and cellar door, and there is strong interest in high-quality South Gippsland offerings given the location and proximity to the Melbourne market.
“Waratah Hills represented a unique opportunity to acquire a quality vineyard holding at the centre of a growing tourism market,” he added.
Neil and Judy Travers purchased Waratah Hills in October 2008 and over nearly 12 years produced many award-winning wines and created a ‘must visit’ cellar door operation.
“We are very happy that through this transaction, the Waratah Hills brand and the vineyard will continue to evolve and develop,” Judy said.
New owner representative Ollie Smith said: “We are very excited to have the opportunity to further develop the Waratah Hills story. We know the area and its potential and have been regular visitors to the cellar door over many years.
“We are passionate about the vineyard and the potential it offers.
“Our immediate plans are to expand the vineyard with a program of new plantings over the next few seasons.
“Short-term, we want to make a series of significant upgrades and an announcement about these changes will be made in the months ahead.
“We want to make Waratah Hills Vineyard a world-class destination for both locals and tourists alike.”
Neil and Judy Travers have both been active in local tourism and wine industry groups. Judy is a past treasurer and current committee member of the Wines of Gippsland producers’ group, and Neil is a Destination Gippsland board member. They plan to stay in the district.