Mike Burleigh spent nearly a decade looking for a vineyard site.
He and his wife travelled extensively across the world studying vineyards and learning about what made wine special. By a happy accident, after not finding their dream project in Orange, they found Winburndale.
Now, 20 years, many harvests and countless awards later, Mr Burleigh is looking to sell this beautiful vineyard.
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Standing about 15 kilometres from Bathurst on the slopes of Mount Fontana, the Winburndale winery project began in September 1998.
Years of blood, sweat and tears went into making Winburndale one of the country's most respected wineries. Now Mr Burleigh is looking for a new owner with fresh eyes to carry on the Winburndale legacy.
"We would like to see them take it to the next level. It needs a fresh input from someone with a bit more energy and a bit more time.Thankfully we have a few who are interested that all have that attitude," he said.
"We want them to keep the business alive and keep this great winery going."
Mr Burleigh says a unique mixture of factors have contributed to the winery's continued growth and success.
These ancient soils are very good for grapes.Mike Burleigh
"On this side of the Great Dividing Range, from the granite belt down to Victoria, there are these ancient soils that are very good for grapes," he said.
"There is one other thing the places along there have in common; gold. There's a great affinity between high minerality and low fertility soils that makes quality wine grapes."
There is a stunning collection of awards for many different wines hanging in the Winburndale tasting room but, looking back, Mr Burleigh can still pinpoint his favourite wine of all.
"In 2005, we made a shiraz called Solitary," he said.
"It was fantastic from the day that we made it. It won a lot of trophies, it won a gold medal at the Sydney Royal. It was just a delightful wine."
At 70 years of age now with 10 grandchildren, Mr Burleigh is looking to get away from loading and unloading 50 kilogram wine barrels to spend more time with his family.
But he says he will still be around to lend a hand and give some expert advice - if needed.
"We're still bottling wine. I hope we can be here for the next vintage or two," he said.
"Whoever the new owner is, I can come and lend a hand and use some of my 20 years of knowledge."
The Winburndale winery is one of only a handful in the Bathurst and despite coming from small beginnings, with a lot of work and a bit of luck they've made great wines against all odds.
"This region produces some amazing wines," Mr Burleigh said.
"I think the biggest lesson is that we are capable of making some great wines.
"We've made some fantastic wines here, winning two of the biggest trophies in Australia.
"I think we've achieved everything we've wanted to achieve."
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