One of Margaret River's most prominent wineries has been put on the market with a price tag of $25 million in what would be the region's biggest sale in eight years.
Industry sources said Watershed Premium Wines, a high-profile winery in the dress circle of Margaret River and one of the State's last managed vineyard investment schemes, was the winery for sale.
But Watershed managing director and co-owner Geoff Barrett told _WestBusiness _yesterday his winery was not for sale.
Xanadu, owned by Nufarm boss Doug Rathbone, has been up for sale for months while sources said Voyager Estate and Saracen Estates could also be up for grabs.
Regardless of which winery is on the market, if the $25 million asking price is achieved - and industry sources say that is far from certain - it would be the biggest sale in the region since Amberley Estate was sold to Canadian-based Vincor for $36 million in 2004. Amberley was sold again, in 2010, reportedly for less than $5 million.
The source of the latest speculation was this week's call for expressions of interest in an unnamed winery described in an email from real estate company Acton as "one of the most prominent wine companies ever offered in the Margaret River wine region".
The property included a landholding, vineyards, label, cellar door and restaurant. Acton's Brian Moulton, who is handling the sale, could not be contacted for comment.
The $25 million asking price, which includes wine stock, is similar to the price another Margaret River winery, Clairault, is believed to have asked when it hung out the for sale sign earlier this year. However, it is understood the final price paid by New York real estate developer John Streicker was closer to $13 million.
Other recent sales include Western Range and Woodside Valley Estate to Hong Kong-based beverage giant Palinda Wines Pty Ltd, the private family company of Chinese businessman Jacky Wong, for undisclosed sums.The move comes amid signs of a revival in the industry. Spot prices for grapes have risen in recent years, making some previously uneconomic vineyards viable again.