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Tower Estate portfolio for sale

Peppers Convent (2)

The expansive Tower Estate portfolio in the Hunter Valley has been listed for sale.

CBRE Hotels and Jurd’s Real Estate have been appointed to market the regional NSW portfolio, which includes the Tower Lodge and Tower Estate Winery, Peppers Convent guesthouse and the building which houses the multi-award winning Robert’s Restaurant.

The properties are being offered for sale by Expressions of Interest, either individually or in one line, in a campaign closing August 27, 2013.

CBRE Hotels Regional Director Rob Cross said the campaign was expected to generate significant interest from high net worth private investors, both locally and from offshore.

“Given the trophy nature of the portfolio and its premier location in the heart of the Hunter, we have already fielded strong preliminary buyer interest from investors wishing to gain a foothold in one of Australia’s most recognised wine regions,” Cross said.

“The portfolio represents one of the country’s best luxury boutique wine estates, including some of the most luxurious accommodation in the Hunter and a restaurant which is consistently rated as one of the region’s finest dining venues.”

Tower Estate Pty Ltd was initially the brainchild of Len Evans, one of the pioneers of the Australian wine industry. He enlisted the help of several friends who each contributed to the share capital of the company in 1999 and thus helped to build the Tower Winery and Tower Lodge, one of the country’s leading boutique wine estates.

Under his stewardship, the Tower Winery brand was developed as a high quality producer of fine wines of limited quantity. From the early days, the winery produced around 1,000 cases each of up to 10 different wines, each produced from grapes grown by premium growers in premium wine producing areas, such as Barossa Valley, Hunter Valley, Coonawarra, Clare Valley and Tasmania.

In 2001, Tower Estate acquired an adjoining property, which included Roberts Restaurant, one of the Hunter Valley’s best-known restaurants.

Cross said the sale campaign followed a decision by the shareholders in Tower Estate to sell the properties to new investors, who could “take them to the next level and realise their full potential as tourist destinations and business operations”.

The offering comprises a mix of freehold and community title land totaling 21.75ha on the corner of Halls and Broke Road in Pokolbin.

The Tower Lodge and Tower Estate Winery are situated on a 16.19ha freehold lot. The Lodge comprises 12 luxurious guest rooms, the renowned Nine Restaurant, conference facilities and heated pool, spa and sauna and a two-level manager’s apartment.

The Tower Estate Winery is recognised as one of the best cellar door and small-scale wineries in the Hunter Valley. The complex, rated five-star by James Halliday, includes a modern 300 tonne capacity winery, a few small vineyards and a detached storage building.

Jurd’s Real Estate principal Alan Jurd said the winery was located on a prime corner site regarded as Pokolbin’s “golden mile” and there was potential for future expansion.

Also on offer is Peppers Convent – the former home of the Brigidine Order of nuns, which was transported to Pokolbin in 1995 and restored as a five-star guesthouse.

Completing the sales line-up is Robert’s Restaurant – a Hunter Valley institution which consists of the Ironbark cottage built in 1876 and a larger main dining room built in 1995.

The Robert’s lot also features the restored Welsh Baptist Chapel built in 1888 as well as the Robert’s Vineyard.

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