Derwent Estate is a family owned and operated wine business situated just 20 minutes North of Hobart. Five generations have managed the property through a vast array of ventures over the last century. Today Derwent Estate is one of Tasmania’s premier wineries.
Planted on the historic Mt Nassau, the Derwent Estate vineyard has been in the current owner’s family since 1913. Grapes and wine production have been the prime focus for the last 22 years, but the property has also been used for vegetable production, seed crops, poppies, quarrying and the production of lime.
Derwent Estate Wines has been an Accru Hobart client for over 15 years. During this time, we have worked closely with owner Pat Hanigan, assisting her family with many exciting business ventures. Currently, three generations of family members are involved in the business.
Establishing the right structure
When Pat initially came to Accru, our first project was to assist her to move the land on which the winery is situated out of the family company (since 1913) into her name. This created Centrelink benefits.
Growth and expansion
As the business evolved, Accru Hobart continued to provide the Hanigan family with a sounding board for the myriad of finance issues involved with managing a primary production business and the growth of their brand, such as dealing with cash flow, financing and WET (Wine Equalistation Tax) issues.
Derwent Estate has undertaken many successful expansion projects over the last decade. In 2003, the Estate began selling small parcels of their fruit to some large winery companies which allowed them to start a new development. This development was a new 5.3 hectare planting where they sold the grapes to Accolade wines (Bay of Fires Wines) and Yattarna under the Penfolds label. During this time, Accru Hobart provided assistance managing the stock and cash-flow.
Planning for the future
More recently, Accru Hobart has assisted the business with succession planning, which saw Andrew Hanigan (son and vigneron) and John Schuts (well respected winemaker), become more directly involved in the business. This has involved a new unit trust to own the land and a company being set up for wine making and distribution. We have also helped Pat to minimise capital gains tax whilst maximising the Wine Equalisation Tax offsets available to the business.
This new chapter has seen the family build a new winery, straw-bale storage and barrel room enabling the Estate to produce and bottle their own wine on site, as well as bottle wine from other nearby vineyards. Further expansion is planned for the vineyards in the near future.
A cellar door currently operates from an 1820s cottage overlooking the Derwent River. This is the start of Pat’s succession planning and gradual retirement from the business.