Vineyard snapped up

Peter Bannan - The Guardian

A MELBOURNE-based agricultural property developer and manager has snared one of the largest vineyards in Australia.

GoFarm Australia has also purchased one of Victoria's biggest parcels of water with its purchase of Del Rios for up to $25 million.

The 900-hectare vineyard at Kenley, 77 kilometres north of Swan Hill near the junction of the Murray and Murrumbidgee rivers, was sold last month along with its 5476 megalitres of high-security water.

GoFarm Australia is focused on delivering investment-grade agriculture assets.

Colliers International's Tim Altschwager and Nick Dean brokered the sale of the Del Rios vineyard to GoFarm Australia on behalf of Belvino Investments.

Mr Altschwager said the vineyard was one of the most significant in Australia.

"With a vineyard area of nearly 900 hectares and high-security water entitlements of 5476 megalitres, the well-established Del Rios property generated interest from a range of local, national and international groups, before ultimately being acquired by Melbourne-based agricultural developer/manager GoFarm," he said.

"Many parties were interested in the large water entitlements alone.

"The solid inquiry we received is representative of increased interest in Australian wine industry assets, which is largely due to more favourable fundamentals, a lower Australian dollar, free trade agreements and the return of the US and UK to the market."

Mr Altschwager said the real estate company had received increased levels of inquiry for wine industry assets and, in particular, large scale warm climate vineyards that can produce high volumes of fruit to take advantage of increased overseas demand for fruit and wine.

The vineyard was established from 1998 to 2003 and is predominantly planted to chardonnay (39 per cent), sauvignon blanc (20 per cent), merlot (14 per cent) and shiraz (8.5 per cent).

GoFarm Australia declined to comment.

Colliers International's Tim Altschwager and Nick Dean brokered the sale of the Del Rios vineyard to GoFarm Australia on behalf of Belvino Investments.

Mr Altschwager said the vineyard was one of the most significant in Australia.

"With a vineyard area of nearly 900 hectares and high-security water entitlements of 5476 megalitres, the well-established Del Rios property generated interest from a range of local, national and international groups, before ultimately being acquired by Melbourne-based agricultural developer/manager GoFarm," he said.

"Many parties were interested in the large water entitlements alone.

"The solid inquiry we received is representative of increased interest in Australian wine industry assets, which is largely due to more favourable fundamentals, a lower Australian dollar, free trade agreements and the return of the US and UK to the market."

Mr Altschwager said the real estate company had received increased levels of inquiry for wine industry assets and, in particular, large scale warm climate vineyards that can produce high volumes of fruit to take advantage of increased overseas demand for fruit and wine.

The vineyard was established from 1998 to 2003 and is predominantly planted to chardonnay (39 per cent), sauvignon blanc (20 per cent), merlot (14 per cent) and shiraz (8.5 per cent).

GoFarm Australia declined to comment.

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