Jack and June Church first started planting our vines in 1969. He searched throughout Victoria for a plot that would be suitable for his dream vineyard. He was an industrial chemist and had always harboured a secret passion for growing his own grapes and making his own wine.
After much searching, Jack found the perfect location on the north facing slopes of the Warramate Ranges.
The only other vineyards in the Yarra Valley were Yarra Yering, St. Huberts and Yeringberg.
Bailey Carrodus from Yarra Yering had also just started planting vines on his property just below the site that Jack eventually settled on. Over the other side of Maddens Lane, Guillaume de Pury had begun to re-establish the vineyard at Yeringberg. John Middleton’s Mount Mary was established a few years later. Coldstream Hills was established by James and Suzanne Halliday in 1985 when Warramate Wines was celebrating its 15th birthday.
Yarra Valley vineyards that flourished in the early 20th century, had been ploughed back in to grazing pasture some 50 years before Jack and June Church decided to establish Warramate. Not because of phylloxera mite, which had devastated the vineyards in the Bellarine region, but simply because the bottom had fallen out of the UK fortified wine export market. So Jack Church with others, were responsible for the renaissance of premium Yarra Valley wine production.