Grand plans for Rottnest Island have stolen headlines lately, but one of WA’s best-known wineries is also set for major upgrades including the addition of an upmarket hotel, museum, sculpture park and markets.
Sandalford winery in the Swan Valley, owned by WA’s Prendiville Group – which also owns Rottnest Hotel – has plans for a larger winery, new VIP tasting area and new food and beverage areas.
Work will start on a larger function space in May with the museum and new food and beverage areas due for completion by the end of next year as part of the first stage of development.
Prendiville Group Chairman and former chairman of Tourism WA Peter Prendiville, who is CCI’s next Lighthouse Leader on May 17, says the 10 to 15-year expansion plan will draw on the winery’s past for inspiration.
He will talk all things tourism including the exciting new plans for the redevelopment of the Rottnest Hotel and about the group’s 45 plus iconic tourist attractions including Cottesloe Beach, Tradewinds and Norfolk hotels.
“There’s been two owners at Sandalford Wines. The Roe family who got the land grant from Queen Victoria in 1837 and started the winery in 1840 and our family,” he says.
“The Roe family had it up until the time I bought it 1991. I’ve obviously had it for 27 years.
“We will upgrade and expand the winery itself and all of its tourism assets including more function space, more wine tourism space, more space in the restaurant, more outdoor dining and areas for smaller and larger concerts out the back.
“In time, we’ll also be putting in a very upmarket hotel. It will be very boutique with only 20 to 30 rooms or suites.”
Prendiville says the upgrades will draw on the Indigenous and farming history of the land, including what John Septimus Roe planted from 1837.
“We’re going to replicate all that. We’re going to do a thing call ‘The Farm’ which will have animals and be a very big food and beverage offering out there.”
Prendiville says he’s been slowly expanding the size of the property from 73 hectares when he bought it to about 120 hectares by buying up surrounding properties.
“A lot of the land the Roe family sold off during the war of about 16 and 18 acres. I’ve bought back quite a few of those and rejoined them onto Sandalford so they will become part of this tourism package.
“And given that the Swan Valley was the food bowl for Perth and all of the food used to go down the Swan River on barges, which is why Sandalford is where it is, or over land.”
Prendiville says Sandalford will be interesting to locals and international visitors to showcase the winery’s history as well as aspects of Australian history.
Sandalford was named this year’s best tourism winery at the Australian tourism Awards, taking out the Tourism Restaurants, Wineries and Breweries category.