Family theme flows through winery’s history

Ian and Anthony Yurisich with old photos and news clippings relating to Olive Farm Wines. Picture: Bruce Hunt www.communitypix.com.au d405471
Ian and Anthony Yurisich with old photos and news clippings relating to Olive Farm Wines. Picture: Bruce Hunt www.communitypix.com.au d405471

Like many wineries in the Valley, the vintning story at the 80-year-old farm has a European and family theme.

Fourth-generation owner Anthony Yurisich said his great grandfather Ivan migrated to WA in the early 1900s from former Yugoslavia.

‘Ivan worked out in the Goldfields on wood lines until the early 1930s when he purchased the original Olive Farm in South Guildford,’ he said.

‘He started making fortified wines in barrels for the miners in the Goldfields,’ he said.

‘My stari dide (great grandfather) had no knowledge of winemaking and just made the wine with what he had seen from locals back in his home country. My dide (grandfather) Vince got involved in the 1960s and he was an innovative winemaker.’

The winery has thrived for 80 years, with third and fourth-generation Yurisich winemakers Ian and Anthony keeping the tradition alive, making a diverse range of premium Swan Valley wines.

Ian said from an early age, all he ever wanted to do was make wine.

‘I had formal training in South Australia and I took over the family business in the early 80s,’ he said.

‘Dad was one of the first winemakers in WA to produce a method champenoise champagne.’

Anthony took over the business in 2008 after Olive Farm moved to Millendon a year earlier.

‘I think Vince and Ivan would be proud of what we have here today ” going from a shed that tacked on to another shed and a bigger shed to a purpose built winery with all the latest technology and equipment.’

Olive Farm Wines will celebrate its 80-year milestone with a six-course degustation dinner this weekend.

Tickets are $165 per person and are available online at olivefarmwines.com or 9296 4539.