James Kellie arrived in Western Australia’s Great Southern Region in 1998, intending to make a pit stop on the way to settling in Tasmania to make wine. He landed his dream winemaking at the renowned Howard Park, hoping to fine-tune his skills and learn as much as he could before making the move to Tasmania.
It’s safe to say, after discovering the quality and diversity that the Great Southern region had to offer, he never made it to Tassie. While at Howard Park, James Kellie started making wine on contract for Harewood Estate, and when the winery came on the market in 2003, James saw the opportunity to secure one of the region’s best vineyards and the chance to develop his ideas for a brand that exclusively encapsulated the entire region, so he took the plunge and purchased Harewood.
In 2013 James and his wife Careena purchased their second vineyard in Denmark, Apricus Hill. The vineyard was established in 1995 and is the highest vineyard in Denmark, as well as the most southerly in Western Australia, with impressive views towards the Stirling’s in the north and views over the Southern Ocean to the south. The vineyard has always been an important source of grapes for Harewood, so when the vineyard came up for sale, James was faced with a problem of potentially losing this source.
While James knew that purchasing another vineyard would add a lot of financial pressure, especially when trying to sell premium wines in an uncertain market, James couldn’t bear to see the fruit go anywhere else, so he purchased the property. Purchasing the vineyard gave James the opportunity to not only secure the grapes but also to release a small range of four single site, single variety wines under a new brand.
While purchasing the second vineyard was a stressful decision, like with Harewood, James took it in stride. For the last decade, the label has received many high-praised reviews from respected journalists, including a spot in the 2015 Halliday “Top Ten New Wineries” award.
In Latin, Apricus means “sunny,” translating the vineyard to the sunny hill. Apricus Hill is indeed a sun-drenched winery and James wanted that to translate to the label. The logo developed is a graphic representation of the sunny hill with each label having its own differentiating, intricate pattern radiating out from the logo like rays of sunshine.
A brilliant, fresh, greven straw colour. A complex, perfumed nose of citrus and fresh nectarines balanced by toasty French oak and a savoury cashew barrel ferment character. Initial flavours of grapefruit and stone fruit lead to a richer and more textured mid palate that finishes with lingering citrus acidity balanced by spicy French oak.
A light crimson with hints of purple. An intense nose of black cherry and strawberries supported by complex hints of liquorice and vanillin French oak. Bright red fruits and ripe plum are complemented by a complex earthy, gamey mid palate. The wine finishes with hints of black cherry and mushroom supported by soft velvety tannins and spicy French oak.