The Swan river history is long. The indigenous heritage of the Swan Valley region is over 40,000 years old. The Noongar Aboriginal people of the Wadjuk tribe, who are the traditional landowners of the Swan Valley, lived here before the colonial invasion began. As per the beliefs of the native people, the Swan Valley was created by a serpent named Wagyl who is still believed to be living under the Swan River.
The Swan Valley area was explored in 1827 by Captain James Stirling later to become Governor of the Swan River Colony. Stirling was so impressed with the area that he wrote in his diary:
...the richness of the soil, the bright foliage of the shrubs, the majesty of the surrounding trees, the abrupt and red colour banks of the river occasionally seen, and the view of the blue mountains, from which we were not far distant, made the scenery of this spot as beautiful as anything of the kind I have ever witnessed...
1922 - The Baskerville area of the Swan Valley was subdivided for viticulture and the first vines were planted in 1922.
The Baskerville region, west of Great Northern Highway, claimed as "The Pick Of The Famous Upper Swan" in 1922, as it truly is today.
The Tolj family purchased the property for 760 pounds and grew grapes for many years.
Duncan Harris purchased the property in October 1998. He had a growing love of wine, winemaking and grape growing. Since then he has learnt via the school of hard knocks and the support of neighbours and friends.
The organic winery cellar door opened in 2000.
In 2001 Duncan built an underground cellar in which to store and mature organic wines in a cooler environment without the need for artificial refrigeration.
In 2002 he built a tasting room cellar door, which is much more comfortable than the back of the old winery shed - although many of the long-time visitors miss the rustic surroundings.
In 2006 the business name became "Harris Organic Wines" as we became certified organic as he wanted to highlight the organic wines and the organics industry.
In 2007 Duncan reproduced The Handbook of Horticulture and Viticulture of Western Australia, the third edition 1921, a labour of love and tribute to its author Adrien d'Espeissis. Adrien made wine in the Swan Valley and owned the property now called Caversham Estate.
2008 was the first production of brandy spirit, now a show medal winning brandy is available as an XO brandy.
As of 2010 the first Australian certified organic brandy became available from Harris Organic Wines.
In 2012 Harris Organic Wines launched its on-line wine shop, thanks to the help of his organic volunteer, Stuie from England.
February 2013 the first malbec wine was produced.
June 2015 the website was revamped into a responsive foundation theme as you see today, unfortunately without the help from Stuie.
May 2016 Duncan celebrated 10 years of organic certification of his vineyard and winery, the oldest plot of certified land in Perth.
October 2018 and 2019 Duncan named as "Organic Farmer Finalist of the Year".
The first sparkling wine that was made on the premises was named "Madeleine Claire" after his daughter, this traditional method is a vintage sparkling blanc de blanc.
October 2018 we celebrated 20 years of ownership.
On the 17th of June 2019 Harris Organic Wines and Spirits became certified with Southern Cross certifiers, ready for the 2000 vintage.
April 2020 we made a large quantity of COVID 19 hand sanitiser
April 2021 we introduced Australia's first organic Pisco spirit made from pedro ximenez. Pisco Shop