Mick and Jeni Delich are the owners and operators of York Wines. Mick, along with three sisters and a brother, was born in the Swan Valley, Western Australia, and raised on his parents' 16-acre Grenache vineyard. At that time most of the grapes produced were sold to neighbouring wineries with a few tonnes always kept to make wine for themselves, family and friends. A pair of wooden rollers wrapped in chicken wire with a metal handle and small wooden hopper was their first modern crushing unit.
Mick learnt the basic art of wine making and vineyard management from his father and other local growers and wine makers, and from the age of six was driving his uncle's tractor in his vineyard.
Mick, a self taught wine maker, still practices the traditional art of wine making in the old fashioned way, but still keeps in contact with a couple of the old neighbouring winemakers in the Swan Valley, some of whom have gone on to become world recognised.
There are approximately three thousand vines and three varieties planted in a gently sloping valley on 6.5 acres towards the rear of the 320 acre farm. All but 200 vines (Grenache) are on a salt and drought tolerant root stock. Cuttings were planted in 1998 and over the following six years Mick bud grafted his Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon onto them.
Because of the lack of suitable quality underground water and the low annual rainfall of between three to four hundred millimeters per year, the vines are very low yielding but produce high quality fruit with very intense colours and flavours.
The vineyard is chemical free and every few years wheat or oat stubble from the adjoining crops is baled and spread beneath the vines for moisture retainment & weed control.
A large dam was dug in 2000 in an attempt to trap some run off rain water but a salt stream was struck in the final stages of construction, and so it is now used as a swimming hole during the hot summer days while working amongst the vines.