The Swan Valley is filled with incredible wineries and places to visit, but nothing embodies the wine-making spirit more than a family-owned winery. Steeped in history and filled to the brim with stories to tell, here are five of our favourite family-owned wineries that are well worth a visit, and a tasting too.
Garbin Estate Wines
Established in 1956 and a true hidden gem located in Middle Swan, Garbin Estate Wines make an incredible selection of wines with all the love, care, and expertise of the Garbin family. Owners Katrina and Peter and their sons Joel and Adam (and of course winery dog Froy) welcome guests with smiles and knowledge of all the wines and the process behind making them, and invite people to sample the wines with a cheeseboard to accompany. Try their incredible buttery Chardonnay, Sparkling Rosé, and Katrina’s fig jam – absolutely a fan favourite. Dedicated to producing amazing wines, the Garbin family also create an extra-special methode traditionelle Sparkling Chardonnay, infused with real gold flakes sourced from the Perth Mint. Garbin Estate is a Swan Valley must-visit, open for tastings from 10:30am to 4:30pm, Monday to Sunday.
Twin Hill Wines
Tucked away just off Great Northern Highway, and owned and operated by the Kraljevich family for over eighty years, Twin Hill Wines is a beautiful and understated venue producing some incredible wines. Taste fortified wines, a splendid Shiraz, and a sweet red blend that comes highly recommended. Accompany your tasting with some delicious olives and cheese, and chat with Dorothy and the family. Most wineries have a winery dog, but Twin Hills has another special friend – a Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo lives on-site and loves to chatter with guests. Twin Hills offers tastings from Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm.
John Kosovich Wines
John Kosovich wines come with the prestige of one hundred years of wine-making expertise, and all of the TLC of a family-owned operation. The winery’s namesake John began making wine at the age of fifteen, and has just completed his 67th vintage – and you can find his lovely wife Mary manning the cellar door. Famed for Cabernets and Chardonnays, you can taste the care that the family at John Kosovich Wines place into every vintage. The Cabernet Malbec and Swan Valley Chardonnay are definitely wines to watch. John Kosovich Wines’ cellar door is open all week except Tuesdays, from 10:30am to 4:30pm.
Windy Creek Estate
Windy Creek Estate is renowned for receiving accolades at the Swan Valley Wine Award show and beyond, and for good reason: owners Ruth and Tony make wines that are both affordable and absolutely show-stopping. A broad range of whites, reds, roses and gold-medal winning fortified wines is best accompanied by cheese and chutney at the cellar door, and guests are welcome to picnic al-fresco overlooking the beautiful vineyards. The Caprice (an award-winning dark rosé) and Verdelho are definite must-tries. Pay Windy Creek a visit, located on Stock Road in Herne Hill, open from 11am to 5pm Tuesday to Sunday.
Olive Farm Wines
Open the doors of Olive Farm Wines and be greeted by a futuristic ‘wine robot’ (affectionately named Frank the Tank) and a slick, clean interior – but don’t let that distract you from the fact that this is definitely a family affair. The Yurisich family have owned and operated Olive Farm wines since 1933, with four generations of winemakers producing a huge array of premium wines and fortified varietals. Come to their beautifully modernised vineyard and cellar door, and meet the family (and be sure to give winery dog Mia a pat) – and even try their very special flagship fortified wine. Named ‘Stari’ after the Croatian term for the winemakers’ beloved great-grandfather, this wine contains a blend that traces back to the very first fortified wines made on the property, with a deep toffee taste like no other. Pop into Olive Farm wines, open from 11am to 4pm during the week and until 5pm during the weekend.
Explore more of the Swan Valley in our guide below.