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Wine producer takes a hit
Looking for new home: Wine producer Saracen Estates. Picture: Supplied

Wine producer Maree Saraceni has vowed to find a new vineyard home in the South West for the Saracen Estates winemaking business after revealing yesterday it will operate from its Perth office for the foreseeable future.

The family of embattled property developer Luke Saraceni has sold out of the Duckstein microbrewery operating on the 40ha Margaret River property, which also housed Saracen Estates and was sold by receivers last year.

Ms Saraceni, Luke Saraceni's former wife, said production of Saracen Estates wines would continue to be contracted out to the Thompson Estate and sold out of the company's St Georges Terrace office, as well as some restaurants.

She said after selling out of the brewery, she planned to take a break until early next year to consider the company's options.

"We would like to build our own winery and produce on our own wine estate," she said. "It's just a question of finding the venue. It's an extremely strong brand and we continue to work with an exceptional winemaker in Bob Cartwright."

The Saraceni family has sold its interest in the Duckstein Brewery - together they were Australia's first combined microbrewery and cellar door - to their partners in the business.

Ms Saraceni said licensing constraints prevented Saracen Estates from operating cellar door sales at the Caves Road property.

"We sold our interest because there was only one licence there and it was impossible to get another licence," she said.

"The Duckstein partners have a plan in mind and the best way of moving forward with that was for Saracen Estates to move on."

Receivers Ferrier Hodgson sold the property last year to the Monaco dairy farming family for $5.8 million on behalf of Bankwest, severing the Saraceni family's last link to the property.

Saracen Estates' 2010 $35 Shiraz won Wine of the Year in Australia and New Zealand last year and its Methode Traditionnelle 2009 sparkling wine won best Australian sparkling wine at the Sydney International Wine Competition in February.