told by Anthony Yurisich
Olive Farm Wines was established by English botanist, Thomas Waters, making it the oldest winery in Western Australia
Mr Waters brought with him grapevine cuttings and olive trees, which he planted in South Guildford hence the name Olive Farm. Once the vines were mature enough to bear fruit, wine production shortly followed.
The Yurisich family takes ownership of Olive Farm Wines, when Ivan Yurisich purchased the property after migrating from Yugoslavia
The wines originally produced by Ivan were fortified wines that were sent out to the goldfields in small oak casks. Ivan’s son Vince took over the business in the early 1960’s and introduced a range of new winemaking techniques. Vince was one of the first winemakers in WA to produce a Traditional Method Sparkling Wine, use cold fermentation techniques and selected yeast strain fermentations.
Vince’s son, Ian was the first of the three generations to have any formal education in wine making, he attended Roseworthy Agricultural College, in South Australia, where he met his wife to be, Judi Nickolai. Once Ian had completed his course, he returned back to the west and took over the reins from Vince in 1981.
Ian focused on expanding the small winery and cellar door into a much larger winery, with a function centre and an amazing limestone cellar constructed for their restaurant. He purchased a block in the Swan Valley, where he and Vince developed close to 40 acres of vines.
The cafe and function centres were built to aid the sale of our wines, but after a while the hospitality side of our business dominated our lives. This led the winery and vineyard work to become a job to do in Dad’s “spare” time.
So when I, Anthony, was handed the mantle in 2004 we decided to build a brand new winery and cellar sales (ONLY) outlet in the heart of the Swan Valley (designed by my younger brother Michael).
There was a couple of years lag time between when we stopped making wine in South Guildford until we opened our doors at our new winery in 2007, but we think it has been worth the wait.
I have been working in the winery with dad since graduating in 2003.