A prestigious Rutherglen property with strong links to one of the area's well known wine-making families has been put on the market for the first time in more than 40 years.
Fairfield, which occupies 852 hectares and includes a 130-year-old Victorian mansion on the Murray Valley Highway, is being sold to wind up the estate of the late Melba Morris-Slamen after she died late last year, aged 95.
She was the great grand-daughter of vigneron George Francis Morris, who established in part Fairfield in the late 1850s with an initial purchase of 89 hectares, after being born near Bristol in England in 1834 and made his initial fortune establishing a bakery in the Beechworth goldfields.
IN OTHER NEWS
GF Morris commissioned architects to build a two-storey mansion at Fairfield in 1889 with underground cellars and ballroom added in ensuing years.
His wife Sarah reportedly had 17 children, but many died at birth.
Fairfield was considered the nation's biggest vineyard and winery complex at the turn of the century and at its peak had a staff of about 100 including 30 to 40 Chinese.
But when he died in 1910 the property was sold.
Ms Morris-Slamen's husband Harry and his brother Norman both died in a car accident near Corowa when their children were young, but it didn't stop her buying back Fairfield in 1973 and restoring the mansion back to its former glory after the property had passed through the hands of three owners.
Harry established Collins Book Depot in Melbourne and was well-known in horse racing circles as a successful punter and owner.
Before its nine-month restoration, every window in the house had been smashed and sheep camped in the downstairs rooms.
The Morris family continues to produce award-winning wines and is the long-running sponsor of the Ovens and Murray Football League's highest individual honour, the Morris Medal.
Fairfield has many links to yesteryear.
They include an Edwardian bedroom suite reportedly once belonging to Dame Nellie Melba and the dining room table being the former Victorian Football League boardroom table from its Harrison House headquarters near the MCG in Melbourne.
A full-size billiard table also belonged to newspaper proprietor David Syme and the ballroom was built just before the Governor of Victoria, Thomas Brassey and his wife visited the North-East and stayed at Fairfield.
Fairfield is being offered for sale as a whole or in five parcels, but if sold as one package it could fetch more than $10 million.
Appointed agent is Landmark Harcourts and expressions of interest close on November 7.