John Kosovich Wines was established in 1922 by Johns father Lile (aka Jack) and his brothers, who emigrated from Croatia shortly before the outbreak of World War 1.
After working cutting railway sleepers in the states South West and then working undergound in the gold mines of Kalgoorlie, Lile purchased the current property in 1922, with the first original vines planted in that year still gracing the entrance to the winery.
The underground cellar was dug by Lile and his brothers with help from neighbours and their trusty draft horses to do the bulk of the heavy moving. An impressive 7m long White Gum beam was cut from a tree felled by Lile in the hills east of the property and remains the main supporting structure for the cellar roof. The very broad axe that was used by Lile to shape the beam hangs from it today.
John took over the winemaking at the tender age of 15, more by necessity than a conscious decision to become a winemaker, and in the early days sweet whites (sherry) sold to the Aussies and some ‘rough red’ that found its way to the local Croatian and European community remained the staple of the business.
John realised that these wines were not right for the Perth climate, and in the early 1960’s made the bold move to change the vineyard to begin producing dry white wine. Riesling was one of the first new varieties planted, with Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay and Verdelho following.
The winery operated under the name Westfield Wines up until 2003 when the decision was made to change the name to honour John Kosovich’s 50th vintage.
In 1995 John Kosovich was awarded the Order of Australia medal for his contribution to the wine industry.
In 2004 he won the prestigious Jack Mann Medal for services to the Western Australian wine industry and in that same year the winery was awarded the Best West Australian Small Producer at the Perth Royal Wine.
In 2000 Johns son Anthony (Arch) took over as winemaker and carefully crafts the wines, bringing modern flair whilst retaining the values and standards that have been synonymous with our wines for many decades.