Riverina’s storied Fruitshack going to market

22 October 2021

A 20ha citrus farm and vineyard in the New South Wales Riverina region has been listed for sale for the first time, by a husband and wife who met at the property nearly 30 years ago.

Fruitshack Orchard and Vineyard, Farm 312 at 9 Henry Lawson Drive in Leeton, has been operational since 1913, originally as a cattle farm with a paddock of sultanas.

It has been owned by the Ierano family since 1955, becoming well-known in the area for its freshly-squeezed orange juice and hostel for backpackers.

Michael Ierano – the son of former co-owner Luigi – took the reins in 1982 and met his now-wife, California-native Debbie, when she stayed at the Fruitshack hostel in 1993.

Today, the highly-productive 10.28ha citrus farm supplies farmers markets and Berri Juices, winning its Grower of the Year Award in 2019, growing Valencia, Summer and Winter Navel, Hamlin, Benyenda, Tangelos and Mandarin orange varieties.

The 5.52ha vineyard was established in 1974 for the formation of Toorak Winery, and as part of that ongoing partnership is currently planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Muscat Gordo Blanco and Trebbiano grapes, along with the original sultanas.

A further 3.69ha of land is suited to further development, with the property less than 10 minutes from the township of Leeton and within an hour of Griffith.

It sits within the Riverina area, known as Australia’s largest citrus-growing region and New South Wales’ largest wine-producing region.

CBRE’s Boo Harvey, Phil Schell and Angus Bills have been appointed to market the property on behalf of Michael and Debbie Ierano, with Expressions of Interest invited before 4pm AEDT on November 18.

“Fruitshack Orchard and Vineyard has been a big part of the Ierano family’s history over the past 65 years, becoming a highly-productive and well-known farm under their stewardship,” Ms Harvey said.

“Now, it is being offered for sale for the first time, representing an opportunity to acquire a productive horticultural asset, with the scope for further plantings, and on-farm accommodation just minutes from Leeton. 

“We’re expecting interest from existing local operators as well as buyers seeking rural lifestyle in close proximity to services.”

Fruitshack Orchard and Vineyard is underpinned by rich red-brown clay loam soils and has guaranteed water supply through 217 Murrumbidgee Irrigation delivery entitlements.

Infrastructure at the property includes a four-bedroom brick veneer home with established gardens, accommodation for seasonal labour, two large machinery and sundry storage sheds. The incoming buyer will have the opportunity to negotiate the purchase of the plant and equipment.