New life for iconic building

The iconic Mills Reef Winery building has been transformed into a beautifully-designed clubhouse for The Vines Bethlehem. Photo: Supplied.

What was once the Bay’s Mills Reef Winery building has opened its doors to a new lease of life as The Vines Bethlehem clubhouse.

Work on converting and extending the iconic landmark into a clubhouse has been completed, much to the delight of the residents of this retirement village.

There’s much to delight. Spanning more than 2000m2, the clubhouse includes an indoor swimming pool and spa, auditorium, theatre, library, gym, lounge areas – including a pool table lounge – plus resident workshop, arts and craft room, bowling green, and hairdressing and wellness spaces.

There’s also a bowling green and a community garden, while those wishing to play croquet and pétanque are also catered for.

The 12-hectare site, which became a winery in the 1990s, was bought for a high-quality retirement village by Classic Group and Kauri Investments Limited, and is operated by their company, Classic Life with work starting on-site in 2016.

The developers paid homage to the winery’s history through the name of the lifestyle village, called ‘The Vines at Bethlehem’, and its winery-themed street names.

Classic Group director Peter Cooney says The Vines was developed with a gold class lifestyle in mind, so it was apt that its clubhouse – previously described as an art deco-styled winery – would be “such a gem of a building”.

He acknowledges that with the retention of the Mills Reef building comes the retention of memories. Many people had celebrated there during the building’s 25-year history. “The fact the building would live on meant there was scope for more great memories to be created,” says Peter.

Classic Life general manager Stuart Cheeseman says the residents are overwhelmed with what’s been created and really impressed with the quality and spaciousness. “It’s exceeded their expectations and they like how is has both an upmarket, yet homely, feel.”

Stuart says the clubhouse is considered a flagship in the Classic Life portfolio. “Part of the Classic Group, Classic Life is committed to designing, building and managing new kinds of lifestyle and retirement environments.”

Stuart says there’s good news for those keen to enjoy some of the new clubhouse action. Residency options are still available as construction of houses within The Vines development continues, with 125 of 191 completed. Those keen to know more can contact The Vines sales manager Tony Stack on 021 328 767 or email:

An official opening of the clubhouse will be held later this year.


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