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.
With wine in their blood Ian and Wendy’s daughters Mel and Kate have both spent time in management roles at Hollick and their significant contribution to the business across sales, marketing and the running of Upstairs at Hollick is part of the family legacy.