The iconic Auldstone Cellars in Taminick has been sold, with a private Chinese company swooping in just one hour before the winery was set to go under the hammer on April 21.
The 36ha winery, owned by Michael and Nancy Reid, first opened its doors in the 1980s before being restored by the couple in 1989.
Mr Reid said the sale had been a relief, as the couple was looking to retire — but he said they were leaving the business with ‘‘a certain degree of trepidation’’.
‘‘The offer came right at the 11th hour, or 12th hour I guess you could call it,’’ he said.
‘‘We were very keen for the good of the district to have the brand continue.’’
As the couple makes plans to retire, Mr Reid said he was happy to stay on for a number of months to help the new owners with the transition as they turn the winery into their own.
‘‘It’s probably important for them to put their own stamp on their wine,’’ he said.
‘‘That’s one of the great things about small wineries, the individuality of it.’’
The couple has previously exported wine into countries such as China, Singapore and Taiwan, and Mr Reid said he believed this was something the new owners could expand on.
‘‘They can take that further now quite easily,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s what the winery and the region needs.’’