South Australia’s Stonehaven winery sold to CW Wines

The Stonehaven wine brand will be reborn under new owners. Picture:
The Stonehaven wine brand will be reborn under new owners. Picture:

The Stonehaven wine brand will be reborn under new owner CW Wines, which has taken over the brand and a 68.5ha wine enterprise in South Australia.

Coonawarra winemaker CW Wines has snapped up Stonehaven, including a 12,000 tonne-a-year winery in Padthaway, vineyards and brands.

The modern winery was commissioned and built by Constellation Brands in 1998, and includes 11 million litres of tank storage, a 4000sqm temperature-controlled barrel store with capacity for more than 10,000 barrels, and an architecturally designed cellar door.

The property is the largest winery in the Padthaway region and features 36ha of merlot, verdelho, cabernet sauvignon and viognier vines.

CW Wines chief executive Brett Anderson said the Stonehaven brand would be relaunched following the acquisition.

Stonehaven Winery, SA

The Stonehaven Winery at Padthaway, South Australia. Picture:

“Stonehaven will become the cornerstone of our winemaking business, housing and producing our existing portfolio of premium and regional wine brands including Reschke, Ulithorne, Schoolhouse and now Stonehaven,” he said.

“As a brand that many people know and have enjoyed, we are excited to relaunch the Stonehaven range of wines into the market.”

Constellation sold the Stonehaven winery in 2010 for a reported $7 million, but the revamped Stonehaven Wines went into liquidation in early 2013 and the site was sold to Chinese-backed Ferngrove Wines. The winery has since been leased to Limestone Coast Wines, which is owned by former Hawthorn Football Club captain Ritchie Vandenberg and business partner Justin Moran.

Its sale comes hot on the heels of the McBride family’s purchase of Norfolk Rise winery and vineyard in Mount Benson.

Norfolk Rise Winery, SA

The Norfolk Rise winery and vineyard at Mount Benson. Picture:

It is understood the operation, comprising the Norfolk Rise brand, a 104ha vineyard, cellar door and modern winery capable of crushing more than 1000 tonnes a year, changed hands for around $6.75 million.

Both deals were brokered by Colliers International’s Tim Altschwager and Nick Dean, who declined to comment on the pricing and other details of the deals.

Mr Altschwager said work on the current vintage and uncertainty surrounding China’s tariffs on Australian wine exports had slowed wine asset transactions in recent months.

“We’re coming off two pretty average vintages but this year’s going to be a really good yield and everyone’s been head down, bum up into harvest time,” he said.

“Because of the China thing, fruit prices are going to come off to a certain extent next year and they already have this year. Everyone’s sitting back and assessing what’s happening and that’s why we’re in a bit of a lull at the moment.

“But once the vintage is closed out I think there’ll be a few more assets come to market mid-to-late this year.”

Norfolk Rise vineyard, SA

More wine assets are expected to come to market later this year. Picture:

The Chinese government announced in November it would introduce tariffs of up to 212% on Australian bottled wine following an “anti-dumping’’ inquiry.

Last week, Wine Australia figures revealed exports to China plummeted to just $12 million in the four months to March, down 96% from $325 million in the four months to March 2020.

Ferngrove Wines managing director Andrew Blythe said funds raised from the sale of Stonehaven would go towards “building and enhancing” the company’s Great Southern winery and vineyard assets in Western Australia.

“We are happy to see Stonehaven sold to a family-run business who will rebuild the reputation and pedigree Stonehaven once had, since it was established in 1998.”

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