Located in Wadandi Boodja in the South West corner of Western Australia, Jilyara is hidden away in the sub-region of Wilyabrup, in the heart of the famed Margaret River wine region. It is a small in size, but big in passion, family owned and run vineyard.
The first vines were planted by the Cotterell family in 1995, and from the beginning everything has been done with the upmost care to make the most of this fantastic site and grow the best fruit possible. Nine hectares were planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc, varieties that are have been proven to make some of the best wines in Margaret River. With a north-south aspect and nestled within undulating valleys, the estate is protected from the elements behind a nature reserve, yet near enough to the ocean to hear the surf. The vineyard is tended to by Craig & Maria and a small band of loyal workers who do everything from pruning to picking.
Throughout the growing season the vines are shoot thinned, leaf plucked and trimmed to allow for adequate air flow and light, which provides a healthy micro-climate and to minimises the use of fungicidal sprays. Once through veraison any remaining green bunches will be fruit thinned to ensure even ripening, then the vines are netted to protect the ripening fruit from bird damage.
As the fruit ripens Craig & Maria will work closely with the winemaking team to coordinate harvest at optimum ripeness. Throughout the year tillage and soil compaction is kept to a minimum, and sheep graze the vineyard post-harvest promoting natural weed suppression. Craig has managed every aspect of the vineyard since the beginning and strives to grow grapes of superior quality. This hands-on approach guarantees the vineyard is closely monitored, resulting in the highest quality fruit year in year out.
Over the years Craig & Maria have sold fruit to some of the top wineries in Margaret River, however a long held desire to see their fruit through to the finished product led them on an exciting venture to produce their own wines, and Jilyara wines were born.
Jilyara is also home to the Cotterell-Bergstrom family, a playground for their children and a space where they indulge in their passion for exceptional wine every day. Craig, Maria and their four children are all an integral part of the vineyard, and they feel truly lucky to live & work on this land and be part its history & future.