WITH Brokenwood, Mount Pleasant and veteran vineyard manager Greg Drayton buying key elements of the historic Drayton's Family Wines business, a final major component is now up for sale by expressions of interest.
It's the 16-hectare 555 Oakey Creek Road, Pokolbin, Bellevue property with its 1000-tonne capacity winery, cellar door, cafe and restaurant and a further 45 hectares of adjoining land with 16 hectares of vines dating back to 1960.
Bellevue was where Drayton patriarch Joseph Drayton took up Pokolbin land in the late 1850s and built a slab hut, planted the first Drayton wine grape vines and grew vegetables and wheat.
Bellevue, its wine brands, bottling line, $1.5 million wine stocks, unrestricted package liquor licence, manager's residence and outbuildings, is for sale by expressions of interest closing on February 28 with Jurd's Real Estate Cessnock.
In earlier transactions Jurd's sold other parts of the Drayton's operation to:
BROKENWOOD: the 70-hectare Oakey Creek Road, Pokolbin, property with its 35 hectares of semillon and shiraz vines. Brokenwood, which for 15 years has successfully bought the vineyard's grapes from the Draytons, has also acquired the Oakey Creek brand name.
MOUNT PLEASANT: the 20-hectare Marrowbone Road, Pokolbin, property with its 10 hectares of semillon. The vineyard adjoins the main site of Mount Pleasant, which in April last year was bought for $14 million by Sydney-based Medich family investment company headed by chairman Roy Medich OAM and his son Anthony as CEO.
GREG DRAYTON: the 20-hectare, Oakey Creek Road, Pokolbin, semillon and shiraz vineyard which was first planted in 1899.
Greg, Drayton's long-time vineyard manager, has worked in the family firm for 44 years and for 35 has run his own De Beyers Road vineyard.
In July last year Drayton's shook the Hunter wine community when it said it was selling up and shutting down.
John Drayton, managing director and fifth generation Drayton wine man, accepts that it is a sad end of an era but, with none of the family's sixth generation wanting to take over, a sell-off was unavoidable.
John, a high school teacher for 13 years, in 1989 joined his father Max and brothers Greg and winemaker Trevor in buying the dynastic Hunter wine business from other family members.
The January 2008 death of Trevor in the disastrous winery explosion and Max's 2017 death at the age of 86, left John and Greg heading the company.
IN THE NEWS:
NAMED for the Drayton founding father, this 14%-alcohol, bright purple Drayton's 2011 Joseph Shiraz has berry pastille aromas and intense blackcurrant front-palate flavour. The middle shows Morello cherry, briar, spice and cedary oak and a finish of ferric tannins. Buy at the 555 Oakey Creek Road, Pokolbin, winery and draytonswines.com.au.
DRINK WITH: roast pork.
AGEING: 10 years.
RATING: 5 stars
SUSANNE wines honour of the wife of William Drayton, the second son of patriarch Joseph and this delightful Drayton's 2013 Susanne Semillon is green-tinted straw and has honeysuckle scents and crisp lime front-palate flavour. The middle palate shows apple, flint and lemon curd and toast characters and a refreshing finish of steely acid.
DRINK WITH: crabcakes.
AGEING: nine years.
RATING: 4.5 stars
WITH 17.5%-alcohol and glowing deep amber in the glass, the Drayton's Heritage Vines Muscat is from grapes from 100-plus-year-old vines. It has rancio aromas and luscious pecan pie flavour on the front palate. The middle palate features toffee, coffee cream chocolate, mixed peel and hazelnut elements and a leathery oak finish.
PRICE: $60 (500ml).
DRINK WITH: creme brulee.
AGEING: 10 years.
RATING: 4.5 stars
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