Our Philosophy

In the winery, like in the vineyards, our philosophy is to let our grapes do the talking, minimising mechanical interference and the use of chemicals wherever possible. We aim to preserve the inherent quality and character of the fruit at every turn, and to reflect the peculiarities of seasons. Most Peerick wines are wild yeast fermented and are filtered just moments before bottling. Our wines are crafted to be enjoyed in the vibrancy of youth but will also reward with medium to long-term ageing.

Peerick is a family business owned and operated by Michael and Felicity O’Hara and their children Megan and Luke. Originally established and planted by the Jessup family in the 1990’s, the business was acquired by the O’Hara’s in 2018. They revitalised the label and re-introduced the brand to the market in 2019 after a 15year hiatus. The name, derived from the Aboriginal word ‘beeric’, a ‘wild cat’, was bestowed on the Pyrenees region by its traditional custodians, the Dja Dja Wurrung. Their beliefs and dreamtime stories, together with the triskele from the O’Hara’s Celtic culture, is depicted on the Peerick wine label. 

The YES YES people

The Dja Dja Wurrung people are the traditional custodians of this region. For tens of thousands of years they were the first conservationists who respected the environment and understood this country’s plants, animals, cycles and systems. They are bound to the land by their spiritual belief system derived from their dreaming stories, where mythical beings had created the world, the people and their culture. These relationships hold deep physical, social, environmental, spiritual and cultural significance.

Dja Dja Wurrung territory extends from Mount Franklin and the towns of Creswick and Daylesford in the southeast to Castlemaine, Maldon and Bendigo in the east, Boort in the north, Donald in the northwest, to Navarre Hill and Mount Avoca marking the south west boundary. Their territory encompasses the Bendigo and Clunes goldfields and the Loddon and Avoca river watersheds. Before white settlement this Country was mostly covered in open forests and woodlands, providing the people with plants and animals that were used for food, medicine, shelter and customary practices.

Restoring Country

Unfortunately Dja Dja Wurrung Country is host to some of the most profoundly altered landscapes in Victoria. In the mid-1800s, large deposits of gold were discovered, enticing flocks of people looking to make their fortune. The miners cut down trees for firewood and buildings, diverted creeks and rivers and dug holes in the ground, pulling up large volumes of earth. Mining was a constant leaving a legacy of soil erosion, salinity and toxicity from contaminants such as arsenic and mercury.

Our property is not immune to this devastation with widespread clearing causing much of the productive topsoil to be eroded. This has facilitated the establishment of many pest animals and plants that are displacing and preying on our native species. We feel a deep responsibility to help heal this Country so that it can be healthy and functioning once again. Together with the traditional owners we intend to over time restore the land.

With few additives & minimal interference

Peerick wine selection
Dja Dja Wurrung territory

The Beeric

Our name, derived from the Aboriginal word ‘beeric’, a ‘wild cat’, which is actually the tiger quoll, was bestowed on this region by the Dja Dja Wurrung. For nearly two million years this marsupial was one of Australia’s top predators.

These quolls persisted on the mainland for centuries. However the introduction of foxes and proliferation of wild dogs and cats has decimated the population.

Peerick

Our Timeline

Location

Dja Dja Wurrung - the traditional custodians of this land

We acknowledge the Dja Dja Wurrung as the traditional custodians of this land and pay respect to their Elders, past and present. The Dja Dja Wurrung are a native Aboriginal tribe who occupied the watersheds of the Loddon and Avoca rivers in the Bendigo region of central Victoria, Australia. They were part of the Kulin alliance of tribes.

Past and Present

Location

Winemaking begins in the region

Winemaking commenced in 1868 when James Frazer Watkin established a vineyard on his property ``Belmont`` just outside of Beaufort. Several wine growers produced and sold wine in the region in the late 1800s and early part of the twentieth century.

1868

Location

Peerick established

Formerly part of a much larger sheep property, the Peerick vineyard was established in 1990 by Chris and Meryl Jessup.

1990

Location

Winemaking

The Jessups commence winemaking and selling wine into the trade.

1994

Location

Cessation

Commercial winemaking ceases at Peerick.

2004

Location

The revival

In July 2018 Michael & Felicity O’Hara purchase the 420-acre property, known as the Peerick Vineyard. Their plan is to live on the property, re-build the vineyard, make wine, rehabilitate the surrounding land and operate a cellar door, eco-tourism cabins and small meat goat enterprise.

2018