Granite Belt vineyard castle comes with three additional cellar doors
A castle in Queensland’s Granite Belt is offering buyers the unique chance to combine a tourism hotspot with an award-winning vineyard, winery and two satellite cellar doors.
Castle Glen at Thulimbah also comes with commercial function and accommodation potential and a residential property.
Barely used function rooms and two self-contained units within the main castle building could easily be expanded, or at least utilised, in the future, according to CRE Brokers’ Peter Sagner.
On an adjacent 18ha site is a 1962-built four-bedroom house, which was renovated in 2018 and has been home to the current owners since they established the vineyard 30 years ago.
But wait, there’s even more: the sale also includes Castle Glen’s wholly-owned satellite cellar doors and retail facilities, with one of them at Tamborine Mountain in the Gold Coast hinterland also being a castle of the same extraordinary dimensions as that of its Thulimbah owner.
The second satellite cellar door at Montville in the Sunshine Coast hinterland is more modest but still makes its mark in the quaint boutique town.
Ideal site for functions, accommodation and more
Even without this abundant potential, the winery is easy to spot thanks to its medieval-style castle façade complete with a battlement roof, arched, stained glass windows and a timber double door entry.
The 22ha site is highly popular with tourists as well as for its winery, vineyard, distillery and brewery which offer a wealth of liqueurs, red and white wines, spirits and beer.
Mr Sagner noted the virtually unused function rooms and units, or visitors’ cabins, as having particular possibilities for buyers.
“The function rooms were a project that the current owners never quite got into,” he said.
“But this is an ideal site for functions because there’s an enormous amount of space.
“There’s also tremendous scope to turn the property into a hotel or apartment-style facility for short stays.”
Mr Sagner said another possibility was for a group of regional pubs, or even one pub, to purchase Castle Glen and benefit financially from its satellite cellar doors.
He explained that under Queensland’s Wine Industry Act 1994, growers, producers and wineries such as Castle Glen could have additional cellar door retail facilities, with liquor legally being allowed to sell or be consumed at these places – all while holding just one licence.
“This gives the producer – currently Castle Glen – a tremendous benefit as it cuts out a whole lot of overheads that might otherwise be in place,“ Mr Sagner said.
He said the same benefit would apply to whoever bought Castle Glen, with a pub or hotel group able to sell or market their own alcohol from both the castle as well as the Montville and Tamborine Mountain satellite cellar doors.
“In this way, there may be strategic and logistical advantages for a group buyer to produce and market an in-house product,” he explained.
“I suspect there is also a myriad of taxation benefits attached to the growing and production aspects of this kind of business.
“I can see a pub group cutting out a whole lot of costs and having a whole lot of margins shaved away.”
Ideal location will suit buyers
Castle Glen can boast an ideal location, just 45 minutes from the NSW border and two hours from Brisbane.
This is expected to suit a wide range of buyers from northern NSW and the Queensland capital with the property already attracting customers from both areas despite COVID travel restrictions.
Mr Sagner said when he visited Castle Glen himself, he noticed plenty of cars with New South Wales number plates and from listening to other customers, he realised they came from anywhere and everywhere between Noosa and Byron Bay.
“As a tourist destination, Stanthorpe and this area have (tourism) legs,” he said.
Regional tourism industries have already noticed an increase in people flocking to the Granite Belt, thanks largely to COVID restrictions.
Chief executive officer Daniel Gschwind of Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) said the silver lining to COVID was that more Australians were discovering more of their own country than ever before.
“The Granite Belt had plenty of life in it even before COVID began but since COVID prevented everybody from going too far afield, many people are discovering places they never knew with plenty of excitement to be had close to home,” he said.
With the Granite Belt already having a fantastic critical mass, both in terms of general amenities as well as tourism infrastructure and food offerings including wineries, Mr Gschwind said Castle Glen had plenty of great prospects.
“Anything with food and wine associated with it is certainly worth considering and I think there are certainly opportunities to be had at Castle Glen,” he said.
Granite Belt Wine and Tourism president Martin Cooper agreed, describing the region as a very lucky one with local industries, particularly wineries, flourishing in the past two years.
“The wine industry is going mad – it’s just been remarkable,” Mr Cooper said.
“But it’s lovely and fantastic to see the wine industry strong and booming and enjoying stronger figures than ever before.
“We’ve had so many first-time visitors from our key markets of Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast.
“There’s also been strong accommodation occupancies so that industry is doing really well, too.”
Castle Glen is for sale via expressions of interest, which close on Wednesday, March 30.