THERE is a public auction on September 13, to sell the Cassegrain Winery land in Port Macquarie.
The land has been listed by commercial real estate company Burgess Rawson of Sydney.
A new and secure 10 year lease for Cassegrain Wines, which will continue to trade from the site, has been established.
The land has been rezoned in the hope an investor can purchase it for tourism development.
The sale of the land will have no affect on the current facilities which include the winery, Seasons Café-Restaurant, Port Macquarie Horse Riding Centre and the Tesla Supercharger station.
John Cassegrain, owner of Cassegrain Wines, said this is positive news for Port Macquarie and the business.
“It’s an absolutely positive thing. My hope is that a buyer will invest in tourism activity such as accommodation that will compliment the winery,” he said.
“There are a few options on the eastern side and the northern sides of the property.
“We have council approval for different types of accommodation including self contained units, hotel complex and mobile home site.”
With the highway upgrade currently underway and due for completion in October next year, Mr Cassegrain said the time is now right to ‘get serious and make a move’.
“All the rezoning has been subject to the highway being finished as we didn’t want to increase traffic at this intersection until the new configuration was done,” he said.
“We realised that there was an opportunity for us to increase our visitation to the winery and the way we do that is to have other activities. In Australia now, regional tourism is going an extra step up. Port Macquarie is a tourism destination in its own right.
“We looked at what happens in other wine tourism areas with food, accommodation and other things, so we are comparing ourselves to others and going from there.”
There is also potential for the buyer to negotiate the purchase of an adjacent SP3 tourist zoned site of 16.19 hectares.
The property, with prime highway frontage, goes up for auction on Tuesday September 13, at Doltone House Hyde Park in Sydney.
Descended from an old wine making family in France, the Cassegrain family use traditional French methods combined with modern Australian technique and technology to create a diverse portfolio of wines and is widely renowned as the first winery to grow and produce Chambourcin commercially in Australia.
True to the family’s French heritage, the winery is one of only a few in Australia that specialise in the traditional method for producing sparkling wine, as used in Champagne, France.
Marketing agent for Burgess Rawson, Rhys Parker, said he expects significant interest from investors.
“The landmark 13.5 hectare property, which hosts events like Wildwood Music Festival and Oysters in the Vines, benefits from potential future tourist development,” he said.
All steps in the wine making process at Cassegrain Wines, from crushing the grapes through to bottling the wine and labelling are done onsite in a modern, purpose-built facility.
At the moment, Cassegrain Wines are exporting about 40 percent of their production. Japan is the biggest market and China is a growing market.
“We are hoping to grow export to about 70 percent of our production,” Mr Cassegrain said.
“We have excess production capacity here which is great. For the domestic market we are really focusing on our direct sales, which is cellar door and wine club.”
He said they currently do not supply wine to major retails and that will not change.
“The beauty about the Australian wine industry is that people love to go to them and buy their wine,” he said.
“If we can facilitate that process then it’s going to help the business and to help tourism.”