Friday, June 27, 2008

Australia: Western Australia wineries being sold off

A number of family-owned wineries are selling up and leaving one of Australia's most prominent grape-growing regions.

Despite vineyards in the south west of WA experiencing a prosperous harvest this year, many say they no longer have the time to produce wine.

Owners of Willespie winery at Wilyabrup, Marian and Kevin Squance, planted their first vines back in 1976.

Marian says the decision to sell the winery had nothing to do with financial pressures - it's because they've reached retirement age.

"We are getting closer to 70 than 60," she says.

"It's a lot of ongoing work and we would never want to do it less than our best.

"Yes, we'll be very sad to see it go. In fact, my grand-daughter said to me today, Gran what will you do when you sell Willespie? And I said, well I'll cry first of all, then I'll probably enjoy my retirement."