The Strachan family of Renmark is well known throughout the Riverland. Son Stephen is well known throughout the Australian wine industry. Having grown up on the family vineyard he knows plenty about winegrapes. After graduating with a Bachelor of Economics he joined the Winemakers Federation in 1995; worked there for 16 years serving as CEO for eight of those years. In 2011 Stephen joined the prestigious wine industry advisory group, Gaetjens Langley so he knows lots about wine as well. Stephen recently indicated that the group is seeing positive signs; opportunities for some to transition out, some to consolidate and other investors to join the industry. In recent talks Stephen made the following observations:
Recent grape price improvements in the Riverland have triggered a long-overdue return to optimism by many in the region and further afield. Pleasingly the commercial sector of the wine industry is finally getting some attention, after many outsiders had seemed to write-off this sector because it wasn’t fashionable.
Ultimately, investments follow financial returns, and returns for Riverland vineyards are starting to stack up again in a market-environment where Europe’s lowest crop for a generation coincided with ongoing wine sales growth into China.
The era of oversupply across the Riverland is gone, at least for now, and buyers are looking for grape supply security to support their sales, whether into China, Australia or elsewhere. And the modern buyer might be a local grower or a wine company, but they are just as likely to be a US Agribusiness firm or an Australian-based Chinese entrepreneur.
Two years ago, vineyards were selling for under $25,000 a hectare ($10,000 an acre) with a full allocation of permanent water. Now, prices are well above that number for the right vineyard, without any water.
Gaetjens Langley has advised on several vineyard sales in the Riverland over the last few months. We have buyers contacting us directly, looking for good Riverland vineyards from 15ha to 150ha, with Water Delivery Rights, but not necessarily permanent water. And some are happy to contract back the vineyard management to the seller.
Gaetjens Langley has a 20 year history of selling vineyards across Australia, including the Riverland. He concluded ‘we get results because we are connected, because we know the industry backwards and because we can be trusted’. If you’re thinking about selling, now is the best time in more than a decade. Call Stephen for a confidential discussion 0438 847 418 or email.