Swan Valley - History

The Swan Valley has been making wine for over 180 years, the second oldest in Australia.

1922 - The Baskerville area of the Swan Valley was subdivided for viticulture and the first vines were planted in 1923. Claimed as the pick of the famous Upper Swan in 1992, it truly is that today.

Duncan Harris

Duncan's ancestors first came to Australia on the first fleet, landing in Sydney in 1788. They were an entrepreneurial lot, with one Francois Girard, owning the Sydney Hotel and another, Michael Hayes, operating one of the first illegal distilleries in Australia in 1805. Duncan as a 7th generation Australian, grew up in Tasmania's Tamar Valley, and came to Perth in the 1990s, eventually buying the property at Baskerville in 1998. While working full-time as an engineer, he spent every spare moment working to establish his winemaker’s dream of an organic vineyard and wine-making facilities at the Baskerville property. The winery cellar door opened in 2000.
In 2001 Duncan built an underground cellar in which to store and mature 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 with ACO 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 - a labour of love and tribute to its author Adrien d'Espeissis. The first sparkling wine that was made on the premises is named "Madeleine Claire" after his daughter - this traditional method is a vintage sparkling blanc de blanc.
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.

  • Organic Vineyard History
  • Organic Wines
  • Organic Wine
  • Swan Valley History 1922