Welcome to Jilyara
Our family-owned and operated vineyard is located in Wilyabrup, the heart of the Margaret River wine region. Although this is a relatively small region, 20% of Australia’s premium wines originate from here. With the area’s perfect combination of the right soil and supreme climate, Jilyara has the terroir to grow fruit of outstanding quality.
The vineyard was planted in 1996 by the Cotterell family. With a north-south aspect and nestled within undulating valleys, it is protected from the elements behind a nature reserve, yet near enough to the ocean to hear the surf. In our nine hectare vineyard, we grow predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon, but also Malbec, Petit Verdot, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc. After having produced grapes for over twenty-three years supplying some of the area’s prime producers, we’re now embarking on an exciting venture in producing our own wine.
To produce the best possible fruit, we hand prune and pick our grapes with care. We shoot thin, leaf pluck and trim to ensure adequate air flow and light to provide a healthy micro-climate and to minimise the use of fungicidal sprays. Craig Cotterell, the owner-operator, does all of the spraying, netting, and mulching himself, and by using minimal contractor equipment he ensures a sound and disease free vineyard. Tillage and soil compaction is kept to a minimum, and our 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. Our hands-on approach guarantees the viticultural practices are closely monitored.
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 and his partner in crime Maria, along with their four children are all an integral part of the vineyard. ‘We feel truly lucky to be custodians of such a special piece of land’.
The Williams’ Block
The Williams’ Block is a block of special significance within our vineyard. Passed down from generation to generation, all the men in our family hold this name. This tradition continues with our three sons, who we are lucky enough to be raising on our estate in Wilyabrup, Margaret River. Only select parcels of exceptional fruit are chosen each vintage to make our ‘Williams’ Block’ Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, two iconic varieties of the Margaret River wine region, holding a name that honours the tradition of our family.
Around the bend and down Heath Road you’ll find Jilyara, a pristine wine growing environment with all the elements that make Margaret River wines famous world-wide. But this is so much more than just a vineyard for us – it is a home for our family, a playground for our kids, and a place where we get to enjoy our passion for exceptional wine every day.
Bees have always been essential to the production of great wines. Though not necessary to aid the vines with pollination, bees are needed to maintain a healthy ecosystem within the vineyard. We’ve equipped Jilyara with four beehives, one at each corner of our property – our own honeycomb corners, helping to keep our crops fertile and healthy.
Our vineyard is situated in Wilyabrup, a sub region recognised for its ideal location between surf (climate moderation) and turf (terroir) to grow premium fruit. Our grapes are grown on a gentle north-south facing slope on ancient gravelly loam. The native trees and shrubs in Wilyabrup Reserve protect the vineyard from prevailing winds blowing in from the Indian Ocean. We have a total of nine hectares; 6.4 ha of Cabernet Sauvignon, 0.9 ha of Malbec, 0.9 ha of Sauvignon Blanc, as well as a small amount of Petit Verdot and Merlot. The 1 ha block of Chardonnay is dry grown on the banks of the Margaret River.
The story behind the bee in our logo
The name ‘Jilyara’ was inspired by the abundance of bees in the vineyard and derives from ‘Djilyaro’, meaning ‘bees’ in the local indigenous Noongar language. Bees have always been essential to the production of great wines. Though not necessary to aid the vines with pollination, bees help maintain a healthy ecosystem within the vineyard. We’ve equipped Jilyara with four beehives, one at each corner of our property – our own honeycomb corners, helping to keep our crops fertile and healthy.
Winemaker – Kate Morgan
Kate was born and raised in Perth, Western Australia, and after a number of years exploring the world and its wines, made Margaret River her home.
After completing a Bachelor of Science degree in Viticulture & Oenology she was off and away, and now has over twenty vintages under her belt spanning ten wine regions across four countries. Her experiences include the steep learning curve of her first vintage in McLaren Vale, dancing in the old concrete lagars (special port fermenters) while making Port in the Douro Valley, some chilly days making sparkling wine in the UK, the gravity fed barrel storage caves in Oregon, as well as meeting and learning from the many incredible winemakers, viticulturalists and cellar crew she met along her path. Her winemaking achievments have been reconised by Gourmet Traveller Wine who have named her as a finalist as Young Winemaker of the Year, and the Young Gun of Wine Awards where she was a Top 12 finalist.
She has spent over 10 years making wine in Wilyabrup, so has a natural affinity with Jilyara. Drawing on her experience Kate is crafting wines of the highest quality, and by respecting the fruit she is allowing the wine to express the terroir of the vineyard. She works very closely with Craig and Maria through out the year to ensure the wines are a true team effort.