A rare opportunity to buy a fully operating winery, restaurant and function centre will come up on September 22 with the auction of the Wagga Wagga district winery, Cottontail Wines.
The 40 hectare property is set among picturesque Riverina farming land, 15 kilometres north-east of the regional city.
The winery was started by Gerry McCormick and his partner Sue Limberger in 2002 who, according to Geoff Palmer of Ray White Rural at Wagga Wagga, are now ready to slow down and move on.
The couple initially supplied fruit to Casella for that company’s Yellow Tail range of wines, then switched more recently to marketing their own Cottontail brand.
Initial plantings were shiraz and chardonnay, aiming for relatively low yields of about 10 tonnes a hectare, but the vineyard has since added cabernet sauvignon, sauvignon blanc and semillon.
The property produces about 40t of grapes a year, enough to make about 40,000 bottles of wine.
Their wines have been awarded double gold for the vineyard’s cabernet sauvignon at the 2013 China wine and spirit awards and have also won medals at various Australian wine shows.
The enterprise also has a small planting of olive trees and produces its own olive oil brand.
The architect-designed restaurant and function centre seats 150 people and is a popular spot for corporate functions, weddings, birthday celebrations and family reunions.
In 2013 the restaurant was a finalist in the NSW Inland Tourism awards. The property also has a brick residence and manager’s house, set in cottage style gardens.
Another plus was the battery of solar panels that helped offset electricity costs. Mr Palmer said a major advantage of the property was its range of revenue streams. Apart from wine sales, there was the potential for income from functions.
The auction will be held at 11am on Friday, September 22, at the Ray White headquarters, level 17, 135 King Street Sydney.