By Andy Young

A piece  of wine history in the New South Wales Southern Highlands region is now up for sale.

In 1983 Kim and Frances Moginie set up Joadja Winery, the first in the Southern Highlands region, and now after the 30 years in the business the husband and wife team are looking for someone to take over their historic winery.

"This property and business is really a great opportunity for someone to get a foothold in a very new wine region, that is very close to Sydney," Kim told TheShout when we visited the winery last week.

"The little winery is really very easy to operate, we have a full and really well equipped laboratory. This year I’ve crushed 20 tonnes, but the winery is equipped to work on 50 tonnes, so there’s plenty of room to expand," Kim added.

Indeed the Joadja property comprises 21 acres and is home to 15 acres of grape. But also included is the fully functioning winery, and the cellar door which is currently open six days a week.

Frances told TheShout: "We do live music events on long weekends which are popular. There is a cottage ideal for owner, manager or tourist accommodation. There is also have a lovely strip of land on our west side, which is quite high, looking north to High Range which would be perfect for further development."

Things have come a long way since Joadja became the first winery in the area. The Southern Highlands now has 60 registered vineyards, 16 cellar doors and over 250 hectares under grape cultivation. In 2002 the Geographical Indication Committee of Australia designated the Southern Highlands as an official wine region; it is known for its cool climate and high altitude wines.

As with many other vineyards in the region Joadja grows the cool climate varieties of Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio, and Chardonnay. The winery also grows Cabernet Sauvignon for its red wines, but while many others grow Pinot Noir, Joadja has Malbec.

"There is no other grower of Malbec in region," Kim said. "We are really it. There is a big demand for Malbec building in Australia, which is mainly coming from people who have drunk the South American wines; those have done a lot of good for the variety, and for us.

"We currently do two Malbecs. We do a Reserve Malbec, which we only do occasionally on very exceptional years, and 2015 will be a Reserve Malbec. That is 100 per cent Malbec and 100 per cent made and bottled here. And then we do a Cabernet Malbec, which is our mainstream most well-known red."

While clearly passionate about their wines and winery, Frances and Kim are eyeing retirement, but would really like to see the next owners take Joadja forward.

Kim added: "This is a real entry-level, single vineyard boutique winery that is quite special as it is the oldest in the Highlands.

"We’re doing about 1,000 dozen bottles each year, but you could really turn this place up from that. 

"This year has actually been a really good year for us, so our stocks are going up. If we sell soon then I’m not going to get any benefit from that stock, but it is just such a pleasure to see the vineyard producing great quality wine.

"But the fact is that we’ve been here 32 years, we want to retire and we want to find someone who can take over here and develop it to its next phase. The winery is just aching to do that, but I’ve got too many aches myself."

Close to the Georgian Village of Berrima, Joadja is located just off the Hume Highway around 90 minutes from Sydney. Anyone wanting further information regarding the winery can contact Kim and Frances direct via Joadja's website.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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