SIX hundred volunteer hours, a financial commitment by the state government and fundraising campaigns has resulted in a purpose-built archive storage facility at Douglas Vale Historic Homestead and Vineyard.
The facility, constructed in keeping with Douglas Vale's outbuildings, is a renovated storage container which will now house more than 25 years of the region's history in a climate controlled and secure space.
Douglas Vale president David Horn thanked the state government for supporting this important project which was officially unveiled as a part of the Port Macquarie-Hastings bicentenary celebrations on Saturday, April 10.
Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams officially opened the archive house. The NSW government provide $33,000 towards the project through the Community Building Partnership Fund.
Douglas Vale volunteers raised a further $33,000 and committed more than 600 hours of manual labour to bring the project to completion.
"This is an amazing project," Mrs Williams said. "I congratulate you all on your vision."
The volunteers will now turn their efforts to the restoration of the old cellar.
Douglas Vale also launched its limited edition bicentenary port, Portobella.
Mayor Peta Pinson and Leslie Williams MP were offered the first drop of the tawny port by cellar manager Ron Hankin.
"In 2013 we had a very good year in terms of berry harvest," Mr Hankin said.
"More than 1247 kilograms of black Isabella grapes were harvested. We produced 1000 litres which is enough for a year's supply, but we put aside 200 litres for our premium port.
"At Douglas Vale we are not just a vineyard, we are steeped in the history of the entire area."
The port was bottled at Bago vineyards.
The 1821 Portobella 2013 limited edition marks the year convicts were transported from Newcastle to Port Macquarie to establish a colony on Birpai land.
"What we have here in Port Macquarie is so unique," Cr Pinson said.
"To have a vineyard of this history in our community is of value to everyone."
Douglas Vale is the only community-owned vineyard in Australia.
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