Houghton was established in 1836 by three British Army officers (Thomas Yule, Ninian Lowis and Richmond Houghton), just four years after the fledgling colony of Western Australia was founded. It was one of Australia’s oldest operating wineries. The Swan Valley site’s colourful history includes tales of pioneer Scots, bandits, and generations of wine making craftsmanship.
IN THE BEGINNING
Houghton was established in 1836 by three British Army officers (Thomas Yule, Ninian Lowis and Richmond Houghton), just four years after the fledgling colony of Western Australia was founded. It was one of Australia's oldest operating wineries. The Swan Valley site's colourful history includes tales of pioneer Scots, bandits, and generations of wine making craftsmanship.
The first commercial vintage, produced by Dr John Ferguson in 1859, was a modest 25 gallons. John Ferguson, a Scottish surgeon, purchased the property that year and became the first winemaker in 1863.
A FAMILY CONCERN
In 1875, Charles, the son of John Ferguson, took over the company.
A CLASSIC IS CREATED
In 1937, winemaker Jack Mann created Houghton White Burgundy.
No other winery had the breadth and diversity of Houghton wines, wines that highlight the best that Western Australia has to offer.
The Yukich family has been a dominant force in the wine industry of the Swan Valley for 90 years. Their family owned and run business continues with three generations leading the charge.
THE JOURNEY BEGINS
Nikola Yukich came to Western Australia from Vrgorac, a small village near Croatia’s south west coast. He left the village in late 1923 for the port city on Makarska arriving in Fremantle on the boat Orvieto 29th of April 1924. When he arrived in Western Australia, Nikola journeyed to Kalgoorlie to work in the mines, he eventually saved enough to buy a horse and cart to have his own business cutting and supplying wood for the mining industry.
In 1929 Nikola purchased 2 hectares in Padbury Avenue in the Swan Valley where he planted vines. He still would go up to work the Woodline as they call it for the next 3 years, settling permanently in the Swan Valley in 1932 where he met his future wife Danica.
In 1934 Nikola and Danica married and had two sons, Norm in 1935 and Mark in 1936
YUKICH BROTHERS WAS FORMED IN THE 1950S
Over the years Nikola, along with his sons, expanded their presence in the Swan valley by purchasing additional vineyard land starting in 1953, with 5 acres directly next door. For the next 3 years, settling permanently in the Swan Valley in 1932 where he met his future wife Danica.
THE LARGEST IN THE REGION
By the 1970’s, with further land purchases, sons Mark and Norm had grown their vineyard operations into one of the largest table grape growers in the region.
This business was split in the early 1990’s. Mark Yukich purchased 45 hectares (117 acres) off Houghton’s Estate in 1989, which became what is known today as Oakover wines.
COMING FULL CIRCLE
The third generation of the Yukich family, Graeme and Kim purchased Houghton’s Winery from the Carlyle group. This effectively joined the original property back together, 30 years later.