Coonawarra is renowned as one of Australia's finest wine regions and is particularly known for producing world class red wines, especially Cabernet Sauvignon. The rich red terra rossa soils over limestone, pure underground water and a long cool ripening season for the grapes produce wines of elegance and longevity.
In 1974 Ian Hollick purchased a piece of grazing land on the southern end of the Coonawarra district. This small block of land was one of the original allocations in the Coonawarra Fruit Colony which John Riddoch founded in 1890. It was never developed as a fruit block, but instead was the site of a tannery, and later a dairy farm.
In 1975 the Hollick's commenced developing this vineyard, progressively planting Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc. Ian Hollick's involvement with viticulture goes way back to his childhood in Mildura as the son of a soldier settler fruit blocker. After studying Agricultural Science at Dookie Agricultural College, and a tenure with Mildara Wines Coonawarra as National Vineyard Manager, Ian, along with Wendy, launched Hollick Wines in 1983.
The original slab cottage located on Neilson’s Block was restored and opened as the Hollick Cellar Door. This historic building remains at the entrance to Hollick Estates today. The heritage listed cottage dating back to the 1860’s was the reputed birthplace of famous lyric poet John Shaw Neilson. Cellar Door sales were carried out in the cottage until 2002 when a new cellar door sales area and restaurant (Upstairs at Hollick) were built to fulfil the demand for a winery restaurant in Coonawarra. The integration of old and new has been outstandingly successful making Hollick Estates a ‘must see’ in Coonawarra.
Hollick Estates launched onto the national and international wine scene by winning the 1985 Jimmy Watson Trophy at the Royal Melbourne Wine Show. Demand for the Hollick product was such that expansion was necessary, and in 1987 Ian and Wendy Hollick purchased the nearby "Wilgha" vineyard, to supplement their existing production. In 1998 the Hollick's developed their “Red Ridge” vineyard in the neighbouring region of Wrattonbully, adding further diversification and regional variation to the portfolio. Further plantings of Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, and Petit Verdot, and even more recently Tempranillo, Sangiovese, Barbera and Savagnin have also taken place.
Ian's expertise in viticulture has seen him as an industry leader, both within the Coonawarra, and in the broader Australian wine industry, with over ten years’ experience on various State and Federal bodies.
With over 40 years’ service to both the wine industry and local community, Wendy Hollick was awarded the highly regarded title of “Patron of Coonawarra” in early 2016. Not only was she recognised for her contribution within the family wine business, but also for her commitment to wine and food education, and to the regional and state wine community. Wendy has taken on many key roles during her professional career, including President of the former Coonawarra Vignerons Association (CVA) from 1998-2000, and a member of the Wine Tourism Advisory Board of South Australia in 2001.
Hollick Estates wines are made from three core vineyards; “Neilson's Block”, planted by Ian and Wendy Hollick in 1975, the nearby “Wilgha” vineyard” purchased in 1987 and the “Red Ridge” vineyard in Wrattonbully developed in 1998, giving Hollick over 85 hectares of vineyard in total. Eighty percent is planted to red varieties, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Tempranillo, Barbera and Petit Verdot. The balance of the vineyards is planted with the white varieties Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Savagnin.
In 2014 Hollick announced a majority investment in their business from the Luneng Group. We have continued the process of building the Hollick brand and concentrating on the values of family history, provenance, heritage, rarity, ethical responsibility and critical acclaim. The Chinese company’s confidence in the Hollick brand and the Coonawarra region is reassuring for many in Coonawarra.
Hollick Estates wines are now widely distributed throughout Australia and exported to key markets around the globe.