Iconic winery building retained

The old Mills Reef Winery building will be getting a new life as a clubhouse for The Vines retirement village.

The art deco building that once was the Mills Reef Winery in Bethlehem’s Moffat Road will be reincarnated into an events and facilities centre for the plush retirement village being built around it.

Until recently, distinctive and iconic building housed Mills Reef wine tasting and sales and an up-market restaurant.

They have all closed and relocated to Leveret Estate, formerly Morton Estate, on the outskirts of Katikati.

Mills Reef building will eventually become The Vines retirement village clubhouse. It will be extended and include an indoor swimming pool and spa, auditorium, theatre, library, gym, lounge areas including a pool table lounge, resident workshop, arts and craft room, bowling green, hairdressing and wellness spaces and a community garden. There will also be allocated spaces for campervans and boat parking. 

One hundred villas have already been constructed in the first stages of the village’s development, with another 96 still to be constructed.

The fact the Mills Reef building will be put to good use makes it easier to leave, says the winery’s director Tim Preston on the eve of departure.

“When we it built, we didn’t realise it would become an iconic landmark. We think it’s fantastic it is being retained.”

Tim’s family created the winery on the 12-hectare site back in the 1990s.

The land was bought by Classic Group and Kauri Investments Limited, with the partnership focusing on creating a high-quality retirement village. Work began on site back in 2016.

Classic Group director Peter Cooney says The Vines was developed with a gold class lifestyle in mind, so it was apt that its clubhouse would be “such a gem of a building”.

The 2000sqm clubhouse is expected to be completed in 2021.

“We are also paying homage to the winery’s history through naming the lifestyle village The Vines.

“Street names also follow the winery theme,” he says.

Meanwhile, Tim says it’s business as usual for Mills Reef, just at a different venue. He says the opportunity to team up with Leveret Estate, sharing winemaking facilities, the cellar door and creating a Bay of Plenty ‘wine destination hub’ was exciting.

For more information on The Vines, call: 07 578 0525.

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