FROC takes over Preston Vale from Southern Wine

FRANKLAND River Olive Company Pty Ltd has won the approval of investors in the troubled Preston Vale wine project to take over as the responsible entity for Western Australia’s largest vineyard-based scheme.

Last week a majority of Preston Vale’s 715 investors voted to dump Southern Wine Corporation, the original responsible entity appointed as part of the managed investment scheme, favouring FROC with strong backing.

FROC had already overseen the management of the vineyard since October, receiving the harvest from the 204 hectare vineyard in compensation for its role after the collapse of the Southern Wine’s parent Tuart Resources had left the wine project financially vulnerable.

FROC is headed by David Carr and boasts Alkoomi Wines proprietor Mervyn Lange and Lionel Samson and Son Pty Ltd managing director Geoff Cook as directors.

Lionel Samson is a well known liquor wholesaler and is linked to wine company Plantagenet.

FROC operates a 430ha olive grove at Frankland River that was established as part of an MIS in 1999.

Mr Carr said he had retained Preston Vale’s vineyard manager and was pleased with the state of the operation located near Donnybrook.

He said the vineyard had produced grapes for Evans & Tate, Alkoomi, Plantagent and Palandri.

Southern Wine is in the hands of liquidator Mark Reilly of Featherby Reilly but its links with Preston Vale are not severed by the investor vote.

The former responsible entity is the majority stakeholder in a trust that owns the land the investors have leased for the purposes of developing the vineyard project.

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