Taiwanese investors snap up winery

Taiwanese private investors have snapped up one of the Hunter Valley’s prized vineyards, the Iron Gate Estate in Pokolbin for between $6.5 million and $7 million.

The architect-designed 16-hectare estate with 10 hectares of vines, a cellar door, 200-tonne commercial winery, established olive grove and Mediterranean-style mansion was offloaded by winemaker Roger Lilliott, who planted the first vines over 20 years ago.

It was put up for sale at the start of the year with expectations around $7 million.

The buyer was Kuokai Investments, whose directors include Sydney-based Gary Kuo and Hong Kong-based Yim Lee Kai and Fung Ying Ngai.

Iron Gate produces red and white wines, all of which are produced on site.

The sale was brokered by vineyard specialist Alan Jurd of Jurds Real Estate who said there were a lot of Chinese buyers in the Hunter Valley, despite it being harder to get money out of China.

“We had a lot of interest in Iron Gate. Anything that is well presented will be sought after,” Mr Jurd told The Australian Financial Review.

He added that the new owners intended to operate the vineyard and winery themselves with Mr Lilliott to remain involved in the business.

The sale of Iron Gate follows a number of prominent Hunter Valley wineries and vineyards changing hands in the past year.

Among those, Loggerheads, the 39-hectare Pokolbin estate owned by former Macquarie director Robin Crawford and his wife Judy was snapped up for $6 million by ASX-listed Event Hospitality & Entertainment while the Kirby family’s Hungerford Hill winery and vineyard was sold to Sydney property tycoon Sam Arnaout’s Iris Capital for more than $6 million.

PUBLISHED: September 26, 2017
AUTHOR: Larry Schlesinger
@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.

The Australian Financial Review
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Taiwanese investors snap up winery