Australian Vintage has sold a vineyard in South Australia to The Randall Wine Group and ended a long-term lease for another vineyard in New South Wales.

Through its Seppeltsfield subsidiary, The Randall Wine Group has acquired Australian Vintage’s Lyndoch vineyard in South Australia.

In a statement, Seppeltsfield said the entire crop at the vineyard, which is planted with Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mataro and Grenache, will be crushed in 2025 at its winery located in its namesake town.

Seppeltsfield said it had bought the asset to “specifically feed” an increased demand for “luxury” wines in China following Beijing’s removal of tariffs on Australian wine in March.

“China’s demand for luxury Australian wines prior to the tariffs was very strong and the Lyndoch Barossa Valley vineyard acquisition offered Seppeltsfield an opportunity to fortify our supply volumes of luxury wines for a thirsty market,” Seppeltsfield owner Warren Randall said.

“Our vineyard holdings in the Barossa Valley now exceed 4,000 acres, growing 10,000 tonnes, producing nearly 10 million bottles of luxury Barossa Valley wine every year”.

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Seppeltsfield, established in 1851, It was purchased from the Foster’s Group in 2007 by the Seppeltsfield Estate Trust, led by Nathan Waks and Bruce Baudinet. Seppeltsfield chairperson Warren Randall acquired 90% of the company’s shares in 2013.

Meanwhile, Australian Vintage has also ended its lease agreement with the owners of the Balranald vineyard in New South Wales, a decision it announced in May. The vintner said that the “surrender” of the long-term lease with Belvino will provide a net cash flow benefit of A$12.6m ($8.5m) over the next seven years.

“The Balranald Vineyard currently yields between 11,000 and 13,000 tonnes of grapes, predominantly red varieties. Exiting the Balranald Vineyard lease provides AVG flexibility in its sourcing strategy in a changing consumer environment,” Australian Vintage informed investors in a filing.

Australian Vintage also announced today (11 July) that non-executive chairperson Richard Davis has tendered his resignation from the board.

The company said it has commenced a search for a chairperson and a non-executive director. Until a successor is found, John Davies will serve as the group’s interim non-executive chairperson.

In May, Australian Vintage ended the contract of CEO Craig Garvin.

In a stock-exchange filing, the company said its board had fired Garvin “for engaging in conduct that, in its view, displayed a lack of judgement and was inconsistent with the values of the company and the high standards expected of its chief executive officer”.

Australian Vintage has been working to raise capital and reduce its debt, which as of 31 December net debt stood at A$53.7m.

The vintner has laid out numerous ways it has tried to bolster its balance sheet, including A$70m worth of asset sales in the last two years, exiting “uneconomic vineyard” leases and re-tendering UK bottling contracts.

Last month, Australian Vintage secured A$15m ($9.9m) in capital through a share sale. The funds were raised through two offers to existing and new investors. Australian Vintage has sold 75 million new shares of the group at a price of A$0.20 per share.

The company said its 2023/2024 fiscal year sales are “expected” to be in the range of A$257-261m. It forecast its EBITDAS will be A$29-31m, up 11% year on year.