It was Jim Ross’s love of surfing and future wife Yvonne’s love of horses and the country that first brought them to Margaret River where they met in the late 1970s
Purchasing a 35 acre block of land on Caves Road, they began a life journey together that would bring lots of hard work, but also enormous rewards.
A work transfer in the early 80’s took the couple to the Pyrenees region of France where both their first son was born and a passionate love of wine was enhanced. For it was then that an impassioned wine merchant friend imparted his knowledge of the Grand Cru wines of the famous Medoc, Pauliac, Margaux and St Emillion regions.
Upon returning to Margaret River, Jim retired from his profession and the couple succumbed to their passion for horticulture, establishing a production and retail nursery and vineyard irrigation business. Their involvement in both agriculture and local viticulture industries – including a “Best Small Garden Centre National” award from the Nursery and Garden Industry of Australia – led to the establishment of 17 acres of their own vines which became Merops Wines.
“Merops Ornatus” is the name of the “rainbow bee eater”, pictured on the label. These birds have been visiting our land for the past 25 years. These beautiful birds annually migrate to our vineyard, arriving after vine bud-burst and departing after berry veraison. Merops nest by tunneling into a sandy hill. We designed the vineyard around the nesting area to create a sanctuary for the Merops. The grape is grown with the same philosophy of care. Borne of the belief that great wine cannot be made from ordinary fruit, the vineyard immediately adopted a regime of sustainability and organic ideals to achieve premium quality fruit. Balanced soils with a healthy biology, combined with natural inputs lead to intense, full flavoured fruit. Pruning is crafted to achieve reduced yields intensifying fruit flavours, bunches are then hand picked, processed and matured in oak barrels. The wine is made from grape solely grown on this estate.
The Label with the “Merop Ornatus” and the coloured rings represents the blue for the sky, green for the grass and orange for the earth. The name “Ornatus” is given to the blend produced each year of differing varieties.
From the 2009 vintage the vineyard has full certification with the National Association of Sustainable Agriculture of Australia. (NASAA) Organic Certification.
The vineyard is 17 acres or 6.5 h/a
Depending on season we produce from 20 to 40 tonne of fruit - Average 2 tonne an acre or 6 tonne per h/a