John Kosovich – Swan Valley’s Underground Cellar Door

John Kosovich Wines - Swan ValleyHere’s a fun fact for you. When Mr. Spittoon and I arrived to Perth for a visit (which has now turned into a 5 year visit!), the very first Western Australian and Swan Valley cellar door we visited was in fact John Kosovich Wines. So the question is, why in 5 years have I not blogged about John Kosovich Wines? I have a very good reason, here’s why…

I have been selfish. Yes I have been keeping it all to myself about the wonderful wines and brilliant cellar door experience it is visiting John Kosovich. When friends and family ask for Swan Valley winery recommendations, Kosovich is always up there in my top suggestions. So if you haven’t yet tried a Kosovich wine or visited the cellar door in Upper Swan, then here’s a bit of an idea of what you can expect.

The History

It’s safe to say, everyone in the Swan Valley knows the Kosovich name. Especially when you’re talking about wine. These guys have been making wine since 1922 and are still completely family owned. 2017 in fact marks 95 years of winemaking for the Kosovich family – no wonder they make excellent wines! When you visit the cellar door you’ll actually be able to see the original vines which were planted back in 1922, they are an impressive sight.
Almeria Vine Planted 1922 - John Kosovich Wines - Swan Valley Autumn Vines at John Kosovich Wines - Swan Valley

It was Jack Kosovich who started winemaking in the Swan Valley after emigrating with the family from Croatia. His son, John, followed in his footsteps at the tender age of 15.

When you visit the cellar door, you’ll notice a lot of mentions of ‘Westfield Wines’. This is because the winery hasn’t always gone by the name ‘John Kosovich Wines’. Up until 2003, they were known as ‘Westfield Wines’ and the name change was in honour of the John’s 50th vintage.

When you visit the cellar door they have so much memorabilia from throughout the years, it’s very fascinating to see. Especially seeing the extensive amount of awards they have won over the years. And continue to win mind you, after just picking up the following awards at the 2017 Swan Valley Wine Show:

  • 2013 Chenin Blanc – Gold
  • 2011 Chenin Blanc – Gold
  • Liqueur Muscat NV – Silver
  • 2015 Swan Valley Chardonnay – Bronze
  • 2015 Pemberton Chardonnay – Bronze
  • 2014 Petit Verdot – Bronze

As you can see from the above, it’s not only the Swan Valley vineyard that the Kosovich’s produce wine from. They also have a range of cool climate, Pemberton wines (the Chardonnay and Pinot are must-tries!)

In 2000, John’s son Archie (pic below) took over the winemaking. What I think is really cool, is that he mans the cellar door quite often so you’ll actually be able to do a tasting with him and hear about the Kosovich heritage right from the source! If Archie isn’t on the cellar door then it’ll be one of the other family members – which makes for a very awesome tasting experience.
Archie Kosovich - John Kosovich Wines - Swan ValleyJohn Kosovich Wines - Swan Valley

The Underground Cellar Door

As mentioned, John Kosovich is always one of my top recommendations to anyone visiting the Swan Valley as I simply love the fact they have an underground cellar door. It’s such an awesome experience! Plus, knowing the fact that it was Jack Kosovich and his brothers who originally dug out the underground cellar – adds to its impressiveness. The cellar roof is supported by a 7 metre long White Gum beam which Jack cut down – the axe which he used is displayed in the cellar.
Downstairs Wine Cellar at John Kosovich Wines - Swan Valley Underground cellar at John Kosovich - Swan Valley Wine Barrels at John Kosovich Wines - Swan Valley Underground Cellar at John Kosovich Wines - Swan Valley Barrels at John Kosovich Wines - Swan Valley In the Downstairs Wine Cellar - John Kosovich Wines - Swan Valley Cellar Door Tasting at John Kosovich Wines - Swan Valley

The tasting list at the cellar door covers many styles and types of wines, so if you have a group with very different palates, I am sure everyone will find something they like.

From Chardonnay (unoaked and oaked) to amazing Chenin Blancs, Verdelho and the very interesting Cabernet Blanc (made from Cabernet Sauvignon, however there’s no skin contact so it’s not red in colour like your normal Cab) will keep the white wine drinkers happy. For the red-wine lovers there’s Cab Sauv, Petit Verdot, Pinot Noir, Malbec and Shiraz. And of course, being in the Swan Valley (aka the perfect conditions for producing fortified wines) they also produce superb liqueur Verdelho’s and Shiraz’s alongside a fortified Shiraz and some very rare Muscat’s.
Wine Raneg at John Kosovich Wines - Swan Valley

Bottle prices range from about $20 and cellar door tastings are free of charge.

The Wines

As you can see from the above, they produce a great range of whites, reds and fortified’s. Here are a couple of wines I picked up from the cellar door this year and my tasting notes for them. I also typically end up sipping on a Kosovich wine when I am at the Rose & Crown in Guildford who sell them by the glass and bottle.

John Kosovich 2016 Verdelho

Recently at a cellar door tasting at the underground cellar of John Kosovich in the Swan Valley I couldn’t get enough of this über fresh 2016 Verdelho. I had to buy a bottle or two as it’s absolutely delicious and amazing value for money at $20. It’s a pale baby yellow colour on the eye with a mix of florals and fruit on the nose think pear passionfruit and lemon. On the palate it’s so crisp and refreshing with tons of flavour yet light and elegant. Think candied lemon, syrupy pears and a hint of baking spice – it has flavour that leaves the mouth refreshed and craving more. Thoroughly enjoyable and pairs well with cooking up a storm in the kitchen.

John Kosovich 2010 Bottle Aged Reserve Chenin Blanc

Have you tried an aged Chenin Blanc from the Swan Valley? If not you should! I picked up this 2010 Chenin at the John Kosovich cellar door for about $35 – I was immediately in love with the freshness and depth of flavour. On the eye it’s a vibrant creamy yellow with toasted fruit, herb and florals on the nose. It’s super flavoursome on the palate with as I mention a lovely freshness with citrus acidity balanced by creamy fruits. It’s definitely a foodie wine that goes well with strong cheese so we found it with it matching the Stilton cheese we were eating perfectly.

More tasting notes to come!
Wine Tasting at John Kosovich Wines - Swan Valley

Further Info

Address: 180 Memorial Ave, Baskerville WA 6056
Phone: (08) 9296 4356
Email: westfield@westnet.com.au
Opening times: 11am-4:30pm every day except Tuesday
Wine tasting cost: Free
Website: www.johnkosovichwines.com.au
Social Media: Facebook & Instagram

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