Gunn’s’ Tamar Ridge vineyard one of the biggest in the state, is located at Rowella, a mere couple of kilometres as the forest raven flies from the site of the proposed Gunns pulp mill. Tamar Ridge is for sale along with a spread of Gunns assets, as well as, perhaps, a liability or two.
Tamar Ridge is profitable. It may not be hugely profitable but few vineyards are right now. The prognostication for the wine industry in Australia is dire. It may be possible for the Tasmanian wine industry to buck the national trend. The coming 12 months will severely test the strength of the Tasmanian niche brand.
It is generally accepted that Gunns is desperate for cash and one has to be only moderately pragmatic to assume that given the current state of the wine industry in this country, and the the urgency of the Gunns dash for cash, that Tamar Ridge might be picked up at a bargain basement price. But any sale, one would have to think, would be predicated on the death of the pulp mill. Who in their right mind would buy a vineyard so close to a pulp mill?
Andrew Pirie has assured workers at Tamar Ridge that there will not be a fire sale of the vineyard. It has been publicly mooted that there are several potential buyers of Tamar Ridge hovering in the wings.
One can confidently conclude that if Tamar Ridge sells for a fair price, the purchaser was either a complete fool or has a guarantee from Gunns that there will not be a pulp mill.