ONE of Victoria's grandest country mansions is being readied for a renovation rescue.
Mintaro, an Italianate Victorian mansion near Romsey, sold for its reserve of $3 million.
The 1882 Monegeetta mansion was bought by Toolern Vale couple Brian and Cheryl Glassel.
After 80 years of Rae family ownership, Mintaro, was in a poor state of repair and many thought it would struggle to reach its reserve, given the hefty bill for the repair.
Mintaro was built by wealthy grazier Captain Robert Gardiner in 1882 with extravagant flourishes like marble fireplaces, free-standing Corinthian columns and elaborate handpainted walls and ceilings.
Similar in design to Melbourne's Government House, Mintaro has barely been touched in the past 130 years and needs a total restoration.
The Glassels bought Mintaro and its 10 hectares for its $3 million reserve price shortly after it had been passed in at the public auction for $2.85 million.
More than 500 people attended the auction.
The Glassels plan their own Country House Rescue with tours and dining experiences set to make the property pay for itself.
''We will be restoring it as it was,'' Mrs Glassel said.
Gas lighting would be restored and heritage experts consulted to ensure fittings and interior decorations are replicated or restored.
Extensive repairs likely to cost millions would be required to restore the property which also has heritage, farming and environmental controls.
Auctioneer John Keating said he had underestimated the interest the property would bring.
The Glassels have now listed their own seven-bedroom, four-bathroom Pinewood for auction on December 13.
Located at 829 Black Hill Road, the 1870s house sits on 97 hectares with formal gardens, nine main paddocks and sheep and cattle yards.
The bluestone, brick and weatherboard construction comprises of classic drawing and dining rooms, conservatory, library, sewing room, four bedrooms and two bathrooms.
It's only the second time in Pinewood's history since 1848 has been available for sale.