With a background in pharmacy and medicine, owner and winemaker Justin Ardill saw an opportunity to indulge his passion for wine by purchasing a small parcel of 12 acres of vineyards in Watervale in 1993. Along with these vineyards, he and wife Julie purchased a humble cottage to be their cellar door and winery on the main street of Mintaro known simply as Reilly’s Cottage. It is this building and its 1856 owner Hugh Reilly that inspired the wine label ‘Reillys Wines’.
Beginning in 1994 with 10T of fruit, our first wines were created. Of this, 3.6T of Old Bushvine Grenache was crushed, open fermented and basket pressed by hand by Justin and Julie on the verandah of Reillys Cottage. The first vintage yielded 300 dozen of each of Riesling, Shiraz and Old Bushvine Grenache.
In 2000 when wine production outgrew Reillys Cottage, our winery at Leasingham was built housing state of the art winemaking equipment. This step took us into a new and exciting phase of Reillys growth.