HUNTER Valley wine identities Brian McGuigan and Colin Peterson have snapped up the iconic Ben Ean vineyard in Pokolbin for as much as $8 million and have a $1.5 million budget to breathe new life back into the site, considered the spiritual home of Lindeman’s.
Mr McGuigan would not comment on the agreement he and Mr Peterson have struck with ASX-listed owner Treasury Wine Estates to buy the site at 119 McDonalds Road, which was founded in 1834 and includes a vineyard, winery and distillery.
However, it is understood the purchase price was between $5 million and $8 million and the new owners have budgeted $1.5 million to upgrade its facilities.
Mr McGuigan said he and Mr Peterson would resume winemaking at the site, which he said had ceased a few years ago when TWE sold off assets and engaged contract winemakers to produce Lindemans wines at other Hunter sites.
“Now that they are not in production they see no need to retain the winery for winemaking or selling purposes,” he said. “We are going to put winemaking back into the winery again and we intend to refurbish certain areas of the building so it’s brought right up to date.”
Mr McGuigan said he and Mr Peterson would also bring to life the site’s brandy still for the first time in 80 years, with most other wineries no longer operating distilleries.
“The spirits market is bouncing back and it’s a reintroduction of what happened in the past and so that is our plan,” he said.
TWE managing director (Australia and New Zealand) Angus McPherson said the sale was unrelated to the Lindeman’s brand, which TWE would continue to own, make and market.