The Kirby family has sold its Hungerford Hill boutique winery and vineyard in Pokolbin in the Hunter Valley for more than $6 million.
The 22-hectare property, renowned as much for its architecture as for the premium wines it produces, is understood to have been acquired by Sam Arnaout, who runs Sydney-based pub group and developer Iris Capital.
A company called Hungerford Hill Property Pty Ltd was registered recently with Mr Arnaout the sole director and shareholder.
The winery was designed by noted Sydney architect Walter Barda to resemble a wine barrel with the lid raised and is one of the most well-known properties in the Hunter Valley.
Hungerford Hill also includes Troy and Megan Rhoades-Brown’s two-hatted Muse Restaurant, tasting rooms and wine-making cellars surrounded by mature vineyards.
Selling agent Alan Jurd from Jurds Real Estate confirmed the winery had sold as a going concern, but said he could not comment on the purchaser.
“There was plenty of interest in the winery and we weren’t disappointed in the result we achieved,” Mr Jurd told The Australian Financial Review.
Iris Capital owns some of Sydney’s best-known hospitality venues including the Clovelly Hotel, The Bourbon in Potts Point and The Grand at Bondi Junction and is also an apartment developer with numerous projects.
A month ago, Iris Capital snapped up the Colombian Hotel on Oxford Street in Sydney for more than $15 million.
The Kirby family acquired the premium Hungerford Hill brand from winemaker Southcorp in 2002. Later it purchased the Broke Road property in Pokolbin from former McDonald’s senior executive Tim Tighe and then built the eye-catching winery complex.
The sale of the winery comes soon after another landmark Hunter Valley property, the Peppers Convent Hotel, was offloaded by former News Corp Australian boss Ken Cowley and his family for more than $5 million.
The hotel was acquired by boutique hotel operator the Escarpment Group with Mr Jurd and CBRE Hotel’s Rob Cross negotiating the sale.
Mr Jurd said there was a lot of activity in the Hunter with “plenty of deals being done” and money made in Sydney finding its way to the wine-growing region.
“We’re selling a lot in the $1 million to $2 million range. The Chinese are still around but they’re not acting fast enough.”
SOURCE: www.afr.com – The Australian Financial Review
WRITTEN: Larry Schlesinger
PUBLISHED: 30 October 2016
@Jurds Real Estate – Cessnock and Hunter Valley Wine Country Property Experts – the place to buy, sell and lease property in Cessnock and the Hunter Region.