Beth McGrath
Assmanshausen Winery
24 Serisier Road,
Leslie via Warwick, QLD 4370
Mobile: (+61) 0409 122 679
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Hope Cottage is at Assmanshausen Winery, a heritage listed property and former winery. The property was listed on the Queensland Heritage Register in 1998 because of its association with, and as a role model for, and as a surviving evidence of one of the earliest economic activities on the southern Darling Downs – the establishment of vineyards and wineries. The place is important for its strong association with its founder, Jacob Kircher’s significant contribution to the development of the wine industry in Southern Queensland from the 1860s…..(taken from Department of Environment Cultural heritage correspondence 1/12/1998).

In the 1860’s German immigrant Jacob Kircher and his wife Elizabeth, set up the vineyard at Sandy Creek (now known as Leslie) naming it after the celebrated wine producing district on the Rhine in Germany. By 1873, Assmanshausen red and white wines were winning prizes for their quality. Kircher sold to markets throughout Australia, Great Britain and Europe – the only Queensland winemaker to do so. Jacob Kircher was always acknowledged as the father of the wine industry in Southern Queensland.

After his death in 1903, the vineyard was operated by his nephew Michael. In 1915, it was sold to Hippolyte Serisier who renamed the winery Toolburra Vineyard. With “as much knowledge of the culture of grapes and wine making as one can possibly get from European and Australian experience” Serisier was a perfect successor. He extended the vineyard nearly half being the muscat variety (for fortified wines and it remained an active winery until 1944. The English cricket team dropped in for some wine after the Ashes in the late 1920's. The Serisier family lived at the winery until 1981.

From the 1860’s Assmanshausen Winery and then Toolburra Vineyards was a showpiece of the Southern Darling Downs. The farmhouse and cellar remain today. Both the winery and the residence have considerable appeal. The house, with its early form, wide verandahs, red roof and white chimneys, set admid a garden of mature trees and shrubs, is a local landmark. The winery has an aesthetic appeal engendered by the rusticity of the fabric, the atmospheric underground cells and the pleasant rural setting.(taken from Department of Environment Cultural Heritage correspondence 1/12/1998)

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