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About Us

Margaret River's Founding Wine Estate

Established in 1967 by regional pioneer Dr Tom Cullity, Vasse Felix is Margaret River's founding wine estate.

Pristine isolation, ancient lands and twin oceans make Margaret River a wine paradise and one of the world’s greatest environments to grow ultra-premium Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. These varieties, alongside Shiraz and Semillon Sauvignon Blanc blends are the primary focus at Vasse Felix.

All wines are grown in Vasse Felix’s four Margaret River vineyards then vinified and bottled within the modern winery, situated at the Home Vineyard overlooking the Wilyabrup Brook. 

The Vasse Felix Cellar Door - also located at the Home Vineyard - is renowned. Featuring a tasting room, wine lounge, art gallery, wine museum and one of Australia's most acclaimed restaurants, visitors are welcomed from all around the world, eager for the ultimate Vasse Felix experience. 

There are many things that make Vasse Felix the special place it is: the incredible environment and climate of Margaret River, their secure family ownership, their treasured heritage, and their priceless vineyards. But above all, it's the dedication of the entire team to continue Dr Cullity's original aim for Vasse Felix: "to make the best possible wine". 

 

VIEW HISTORICAL TIMELINE

 

Margaret River, Wine Paradise

Margaret River's pristine isolation, ancient lands and maritime influence create the ideal environment to grow Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay and Shiraz and Semillon Sauvignon Blanc blend wines.

The region contributes just 3% to Australia's total wine production, however commands over 20% of the premium market with wines that arguably lead the way as international benchmarks.

More About Wine Paradise

Margaret River, Wine Paradise

Margaret River's pristine isolation, ancient lands and maritime influence create the ideal environment to grow Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay and Shiraz and Semillon Sauvignon Blanc blend wines.

The region contributes just 3% to Australia's total wine production, however commands over 20% of the premium market with wines that arguably lead the way as international benchmarks.

More About Wine Paradise

Four Specialty Vineyards

Vasse Felix has four distinct and exceptional sites around the Margaret River region.

Each vineyard is matched to the best possible varieties and clones, and farmed sustainably using traditional and organic practices. By nurturing our soils, we achieve better plant health and balance which leads to higher quality fruit. We don't use synthetic herbicides, fungicides, pesticides or fertilisers.  

Explore The Vineyards

Four Specialty Vineyards

Vasse Felix has four distinct and exceptional sites around the Margaret River region.

Each vineyard is matched to the best possible varieties and clones, and farmed sustainably using traditional and organic practices. By nurturing our soils, we achieve better plant health and balance which leads to higher quality fruit. We don't use synthetic herbicides, fungicides, pesticides or fertilisers.  

Explore The Vineyards

The Story of the Name

Vasse
‘Naturaliste’ and ‘Geographe’ were the maiden ships in the Baudin Expedition, undertaken by the French to map the coast of Australia (New Holland) from 1800-1803. The expedition was the first to discover the south-west coast of Australia, arriving from Mauritius in the peak of winter to storms and 8 foot swells.

Disaster struck on 8 June 1801 when the Naturaliste’s Assistant Helmsman was swept up by the waves and thrown into the vast and treacherous ocean. This was the disappearance of Thomas Timothèe Vasse. While originally thought to have drowned, rumours of Vasse’s circumstances emerged in the following years. His became one of the most curious nautical stories in French and Australian history.

Was he lost to the wild ocean, or did he wash ashore and live with the local indigenous community? Did he grow old in Australia or was he picked up by an American crew, taken to England and imprisoned? It became a highly publicised story in the French Journals. The public was divided. What happened to the unlucky and unfortunate Vasse?

Felix
An avid historian, and hopeful that his vineyard would enjoy a happier fate, Dr Tom Cullity named it Vasse Felix, meaning ‘lucky/happy’ Vasse.

The Story of the Name

Vasse
‘Naturaliste’ and ‘Geographe’ were the maiden ships in the Baudin Expedition, undertaken by the French to map the coast of Australia (New Holland) from 1800-1803. The expedition was the first to discover the south-west coast of Australia, arriving from Mauritius in the peak of winter to storms and 8 foot swells.

Disaster struck on 8 June 1801 when the Naturaliste’s Assistant Helmsman was swept up by the waves and thrown into the vast and treacherous ocean. This was the disappearance of Thomas Timothèe Vasse. While originally thought to have drowned, rumours of Vasse’s circumstances emerged in the following years. His became one of the most curious nautical stories in French and Australian history.

Was he lost to the wild ocean, or did he wash ashore and live with the local indigenous community? Did he grow old in Australia or was he picked up by an American crew, taken to England and imprisoned? It became a highly publicised story in the French Journals. The public was divided. What happened to the unlucky and unfortunate Vasse?

Felix
An avid historian, and hopeful that his vineyard would enjoy a happier fate, Dr Tom Cullity named it Vasse Felix, meaning ‘lucky/happy’ Vasse.

The Peregrine Falcon Story

The bird on the Vasse Felix label is a Peregrine Falcon. It has been on the Vasse Felix label since the first vintage and draws from an early story in the vineyards.

The first Vasse Felix vintage in 1971 from four year old vines was disheartening, with most of the fruit either destroyed by rot or eaten by native birds. To protect the grapes from bird damage during harvest, falconry was attempted.

The exercise, however, proved unsuccessful, as the first time the falcon was released to circle the vineyard it flew straight into the surrounding forest, never to return.

The Peregrine Falcon Story

The bird on the Vasse Felix label is a Peregrine Falcon. It has been on the Vasse Felix label since the first vintage and draws from an early story in the vineyards.

The first Vasse Felix vintage in 1971 from four year old vines was disheartening, with most of the fruit either destroyed by rot or eaten by native birds. To protect the grapes from bird damage during harvest, falconry was attempted.

The exercise, however, proved unsuccessful, as the first time the falcon was released to circle the vineyard it flew straight into the surrounding forest, never to return.

Owner Paul Holmes À Court

Paul Holmes à Court represents the second generation of the Family who have owned and operated Vasse Felix since 1987.

Paul took over General Management of the Estate in 2005 and became the sole owner of Vasse Felix and its parent company, The Heytesbury Group in 2008.

The long-term vision for Vasse Felix is to build a great wine Estate of the world in Margaret River, and under Paul’s management, every major operation from vine to bottle and beyond continues to be carefully reviewed, upgraded and evolved. Significant Estate projects during Paul’s tenure to date have included:

  • The expansion of the Home Vineyard
  • The selection and addition of specialty vineyard sites; Gnarawary and Karridale
  • Revolutionary upgrades to the in-house winemaking and bottling facilities
  • Architectural and interior redevelopment of the Cellar Door and Restaurant

Paul will continue leading all management of Vasse Felix and The Heytesbury Group’s other business entities until they are one day taken forward by the next Holmes à Court generation - his young children.

Owner Paul Holmes À Court

Paul Holmes à Court represents the second generation of the Family who have owned and operated Vasse Felix since 1987.

Paul took over General Management of the Estate in 2005 and became the sole owner of Vasse Felix and its parent company, The Heytesbury Group in 2008.

The long-term vision for Vasse Felix is to build a great wine Estate of the world in Margaret River, and under Paul’s management, every major operation from vine to bottle and beyond continues to be carefully reviewed, upgraded and evolved. Significant Estate projects during Paul’s tenure to date have included:

  • The expansion of the Home Vineyard
  • The selection and addition of specialty vineyard sites; Gnarawary and Karridale
  • Revolutionary upgrades to the in-house winemaking and bottling facilities
  • Architectural and interior redevelopment of the Cellar Door and Restaurant

Paul will continue leading all management of Vasse Felix and The Heytesbury Group’s other business entities until they are one day taken forward by the next Holmes à Court generation - his young children.

 

Our People

Paul Holmes à Court
Chief Executive Officer & Owner
Chief Viticulturist
Chief Winemaker
Lloyd Constantine
Head of Sales & Marketing
Head Chef