Turning gold into wine at Douglas Vale Historic Homestead and Vineyard »

Explore a heritage-listed property in the heart of Port Macquarie

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Douglas Vale Historic Homestead & Vineyard - Cottage Garden

Douglas Vale Historic Homestead & Vineyard - Cottage Garden [©Douglas Vale Vineyard]

Douglas Vale Historic Homestead & Vineyard - Veggie & Rose Garden
Douglas Vale Vineyard
Douglas Vale Wines

 

Douglas Vale dates back to 1859 when vigneron, George Francis, bought two parcels of land totalling 20 acres on what was then the New England Road.

George had worked on planting a vineyard at Major Innes’s property, Lake Innes, for three years before going gold prospecting and it’s believed he used Black Isabella cuttings from there to start Douglas Vale. 

He went on to prospect enough gold at Major’s Creek diggings near Braidwood to buy the property, build the cottage for his family and start the vineyard and later purchased land to a total of 44.7 acres.

The property was named after George Francis’ first wife, Margaret whose maiden name was Douglas and family origins were in Scotland.

Douglas Vale developed into one of the finest vineyards in the district. Its wines were exhibited in Bordeaux in 1882, Amsterdam in 1883, Calcutta in 1884 and 1885 and in London in 1886, winning commendations and medals.

After George died in 1898, his daughter, Margaret Wilson, continued to maintain Douglas Vale as a successful vineyard until the last vintage in 1918.

When Margaret Wilson died in 1932, ownership of Douglas Vale passed to her daughter, Margaret Ethel Isabella Dick, widow of Earnest Dick (whose family established the oyster farming industry on the Hastings River).

Margaret Dick was joined by her youngest son, Patsy, who continued living in the homestead after his mother’s death.

In later years the State Government progressively resumed the land, mainly for educational purposes.  When Patsy died in 1993, TAFE, as the new owner of the property, was unable to prevent the subsequent vandalism and decided to demolish the property.

In response to this threat, The Douglas Vale Conservation Group was formed in 1995.

Only approximately 4.1 acres remains of the property today. The homestead is the oldest remaining timber house in the Hastings region and with the out buildings, represents the last remaining fabric of the pioneering wine industry of the 1880’s.

There is an amazing collection of family memorabilia which has been donated by family members and is on display in the homestead.

The vineyard is the oldest in Port Macquarie and in the late 1880’s it was the largest.

About the Conservation Group
Douglas Vale Conservation Group is the only volunteer run homestead and vineyard in Australia. The Conservation Group is preserving Douglas Vale as a working museum/vineyard for future generations.

The homestead and its curtilage are classified by the National Trust of Australia and is included in Port Macquarie/ Hastings Council list of Heritage sites.

Visiting
Open: Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 10am until 3pm.
Address: 235 Oxley Highway, Port Macquarie (between Westport Primary School and Westport High School.)
Phone: (02) 6584 3792.

Events
Douglas Vale's special Open Days are held 2-3 times a year from 9:30am until 2:30pm.

  • Third Saturday in April: Heritage Open Day
  • Third Saturday in October: Spring Open Day
     

Regions

  • Hastings River (NSW)

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May 08th, 2019
 
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