Business

Husband and wife team have big plans for Ipswich winery

Emma Chen and Yang Zhang are the new owners of Ironbark Ridge Vineyard in Purga.
Emma Chen and Yang Zhang are the new owners of Ironbark Ridge Vineyard in Purga. David Nielsen

NEW life has been breathed into Ironbark Ridge Vineyard with two new owners coming on board to make it bigger and better.

Emma Chen and her husband Yang Zhang bought the Purga based vineyard in December and have worked hard to repair a number of buildings on site as well as prepare the vines for the upcoming harvest.

It's certainly a big task for the young married couple, who have never worked on or owned a vineyard before. However, Mr Zhang has worked in hospitality before, as he owned franchises with Dominos and Baskin and Robbins. But this is entirely new for his wife, who has worked as an optometrist at Riverlink Shopping Centre in Ipswich for a number of years.

Emma Chen and Yang Zhang are the new owners of Ironbark Ridge Vineyard in Purga.
Emma Chen and Yang Zhang are the new owners of Ironbark Ridge Vineyard in Purga. David Nielsen

"Yang likes to say to me he bought the vineyard so I can have all the wine I want," Ms Chen said while laughing.

But their big leap of faith into transforming the vineyard now sees them responsible for ensuring the six acres of vines are well attended to.

"Yang has been working hard to maintain the vines by pruning and getting rid of all the weeds," Ms Chen said.

"The vines have now just started to bud, which is lovely to see.

"We will be able to pick the grapes in January or February and then we will send it off to our wine maker, which is Flinders Peak Winery."

The loved-up pair, who have been together since high school, both have big plans for the vineyard.

Their vision is to make Ironbark Ridge Vineyard a major tourist attraction for residents and visitors alike.

"We plan to build a big shed, like a barn, and turn it into a restaurant so we can have people come for lunch on the weekends," Ms Chen said.

"We had three weddings booked in this year, so I think the barn would also make a lovely addition for receptions.

"Yang and I would also like to start making our own brandy."

Ironbark Ridge Vineyard has been a producer of award winning wine for a number of years now, which Ms Chen would like to share with the wider community.

"We are open for wine tastings every Friday to Sunday from 10am-5pm, and we would really like to community to come along and help support us in our vision to grow the vineyard," she said.

"A lot of people have known it has been here for ages, but what they didn't actually realise is they can drop in and see us and come and try our wine."

Their bottles range in price from $22 to $45 and includes their award winning unwooded chardonnay.

Ironbark Ridge Vineyard is located at 478 Middle Rd, Purga.

Emma Chen and Yang Zhang are the new owners of Ironbark Ridge Vineyard in Purga.
Emma Chen and Yang Zhang are the new owners of Ironbark Ridge Vineyard in Purga. David Nielsen

Topics:  purga vineyard winery



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