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Vale Bob Oatley


Hamilton Island owner, wine maker and legendary yachtsman Bob Oatley has died of an illness aged 87.

Oatley pioneered winemaking in the Hunter Valley when he established Rosemount Estate in 1969. He went on to sell Rosemount to Southcorp Wines (Treasury Wine Estates) for a reported $1.5 billion, in a merger that would make Southcorp Australia’s largest wine company.

He later purchased Queensland tourist haven Hamilton Island for $200 million in 2001.

He was also the owner of yacht Wild Oats XI which won the Sydney-to-Hobart race for the eighth time in 10 years in 2014.

Later that same year, Oatley was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for his distinguished service to the Australian wine and tourism industries, to the sport of yacht racing, and to the community as a supporter of medical research and visual arts organisations.

Oatley is survived by his wife Valerie and three children Sandy, Ian and Ros, seven grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.

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