The Hanging Rock Winery

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Our loan is helping The Hanging Rock Winery through the COVID-19 crisis while protecting a family legacy

Nestled in the cool climes of the Macedon Ranges, The Hanging Rock Winery is a family business that’s produced award-winning sparkling, shiraz, red and white wines for nearly 40 years.

Managing Director John Ellis says about a third of their business comes through export – with two-thirds of their overseas customers based in China. The outbreak of COVID-19 has been especially tough on the winery’s on-premises business.

“We have to start thinking about expanding to places like the UK, where there's still huge opportunities,” said John.
“But COVID-19 will have to disappear or be dealt with before that becomes a big opportunity for us.”

The winery was unable to borrow against its principal assets of land and buildings, which are owned by a family trust.

So, The Hanging Rock Winery approached us for financial support during the downturn.


An unmissable opportunity

John first heard of Export Finance Australia when he heard a former professional association contact talking about the organisation on the radio and decided to get in touch. That contact was Senator the Hon. Simon Birmingham, the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, who is also the responsible Minister for Export Finance Australia.

“It was an opportunity too good to be missed,” John said.

John worked with our Business Development team, who helped him with the application process. He says that once all the preparation was done, the process was fairly simple.

“Overall, the process wasn't onerous, and it was a very good learning exercise,” said John. “We had to do the homework to justify not only to Export Finance Australia, but to ourselves, that we needed that money.”

Our $350,000 Small Business Export Loan allowed The Hanging Rock Winery to manage its cashflow now and protect the business into the future.

John also explained that, most importantly, the financial safety net means he can sleep much better at night. He knows the family’s legacy is secure.

“Our business is 100% family-owned – and our greatest delight is that it’s owned with our children,” said John.

At a time when the industry and business is in crisis, I’ve been able to protect the business for them. I'm very pleased that Export Finance Australia has made that possible.

John Ellis, Managing Director, The Hanging Rock Winery