The Hunter Valley winery that was named after a fictional village in the 1980s hit TV series A Country Practice has sold for $7 million.
In a fitting nod to Wandin Valley’s entertainment past it was bought by a director of one of China’s largest animation studios, Lap Tung Tsoi.
Originally known as Millstone Vineyard, the 40-hectare property was renamed Wandin Valley by the creator of A Country Practice, James Davern, and his wife Philippa following their purchase in 1990 for $900,000.
Davern, who ran the film and television company JNP Films that produced the Logie Award-winning series, redeveloped the property into a winery, building the cricket pavilion-style main residence, manager’s cottage, modern cellar, function rooms for weddings, and adding the tourist accommodation.
In 2010 the Daverns sold Wandin Valley for $4.75 million to Mosman-based wine entrepreneurs Katrina and Russell Leslie, the latter of whom is a former Macquarie investment banker.
Alan Jurd, of Jurds Real Estate, listed it last year and records reveal the $7 million purchase was in a company name headed by Tsoi, a director in his family’s international animation and toy manufacturing empire Alpha Group.
Alpha Group was founded by Tsoi’s big brother and self-made billionaire, Cai Dongqing, a budding movie mogul who turned the successful toy manufacturer into a major player in China’s animation movie business and was a co-producer of China’s all-time highest box office grossing movie The Mermaid.
Tsoi, 42, also owns an $11.7 million mansion in Vaucluse he bought two years ago. It remains unknown if the winery will be run as a private weekender or continue as a popular wedding venue.
– with Philip Wen
AUTHOR: Lucy Macken
PUBLISHED: 4 November 2016
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