By Andy Young
Blackford Stables, one of the oldest vineyards in the Adelaide Hills, has been bought by a wine exporting business after being for sale for over a year.
The 46-hectare property has around 13 hectares under vine, down from over 28 hectares in 1998. The vineyard contains Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Sangiovese and Pinot Noir plantings.
Nick Goode of Colliers International said: "Some properties in these tightly-held regions have been on the market for prolonged periods of time but are now changing hands and participants have an optimistic view for the future,
"Growth in the Chinese market, which had slackened off particularly for high-end wines, has re-emerged.
"Value has increased by up to 50 per cent and volume up to 40 per cent. The free trade agreement is expected to continue this trend."
Mainland China is now Australia’s largest wine export market, having overtaken the US earlier this year. That strong growth, as well as the free trade agreement, has seen Australian vineyards and wineries become more attractive to companies with ties to China.
In the 12 months to 30 September Australian wine sales to Mainland China grew by 51 per cent to $474 million – a substantial increase from a decade earlier when the export value was only $27 million. Over the last year the US market grew by four per cent to $448 million, and the Hong Kong market grew by seven per cent to $126 million and is now the fifth largest export market for Australian wine.
In September one of China’s largest winemakers, Weilong Grape Wine Company, committed to making major investments in Australian wine.