HERITAGE-listed Entally House could fall under the control of a private operator by early next year.
The colonial estate was dropped from the Parks and Wildlife portfolio, and expressions of interest in a new lease were advertised in October.
Heritage Minister Brian Wightman said there had been strong interest in the property.
A request by The Examiner for information on the number and type of expressions was denied.
Mr Wightman said he looked forward to announcing the outcome early next year.
``While it is too early to comment on any potential lease arrangements, the second stage of the process is now under way, which will look at proposals in greater detail,'' Mr Wightman said.
``A key objective of the EOI process is to create a stewardship arrangement for Entally while maintaining appropriate heritage protection and community involvement at the site.''
Heritage enthusiasts have slammed the government for failing to maintain responsibility for Entally, claiming the property to be of national public significance.
Mr Wightman said the government would continue to work with the new leaseholder to increase public access to the site, and maintain volunteer opportunities.
A requirement of any new arrangement is that the adjoining vineyard, planted by the estate's former private operator Gunns, continue to be maintained by Youth Futures.
Youth Futures chief executive Harry Tams said the organisation managed the vineyard through its work training program, which included selling the grapes and bottling some wine for sale.
He said participants in the program gained level 1 and 2 rural operation certificates.
``We prepare young people and also recently arrived migrants for work out in the rural sector, in orchards and vineyards,'' Mr Tams said.