Hay Shed Hill
The vineyard is located in the Willyabrup Valley, a premier sub-region of Margaret River in Western Australia, on a property that was originally a dairy farm established as a group settlement farm known as Sussex Vale for soldiers returning from WW1. The first vines were planted on the land in the early 1970's, but in the late 1980's it was bought by Liz and Barry Morrison, who rejuvenated the vineyard and renovated the cellar and winery. They also established the Hay Shed Hill wine brand, taking the name from the hay shed on a hill where the earliest wines were made on the property and by which was the locals referred to the winery. A series of ownerships followed with accompanying changes to labels and wine styles until 2006 when the current owners, a group of partners, including Michael Kerrigan and his wife Leith Pavlinovich, bought back the farm and the Hay Shed Hill brand and returned to the original concept of producing wine that expresses the quality of the site. And what a site! The vineyard is just 5 kilometres from the Indian Ocean and benefits from the “Doctor”, the cooling afternoon sea breeze that occurs due to the major temperature difference between the land and the sea. This gives the vineyard a much cooler climate than the latitude of the site would suggest. The topography is hilly, with some steep south-facing slopes where the best Chardonnay is grown, and equally steep north facing slopes where the best Cabernet Sauvignon is planted. Much of the vineyard is dry-grown, producing small yields of exceptional fruit. Michael has been their winemaker from the start. He is one of the most respected winemakers in Australia and has helped to establish Margaret River's reputation as a world-class wine area. The Hay Shed Hill portfolio consist of several ranges. The Block Series are made from small parcels of fruit from individual blocks on the vineyard to showcase the best of Hay Shed Hill's wines. The Vineyard Series highlights the character of the fruit in distinctive and expressive modern wines from old vines. The World Series presents lesser-known varietals in Australia, with grape varieties from the Old World finding a new expression in the New World. The Pitchfork range are unpretentious, contemporary wines. Michael also has a collaboration with Gavin Berry of West Cape Howe in the Great Southern, making the Kerrigan+Berry range. Finally Michael's daughter Katie Priscilla Kerrigan is challenging her father with her own KP Naturally wines.