RADOJKOVICH, Vladimir (Wally)

Wally Radojkovich and Jadran wines

Statement of Significance

Jadran Wines and the Radojkovich family have a long association with the Orange Grove area. The vineyard and winery business was established in the late 1920s, and with no interruptions, continues to operate today.

Physical Description

Jadran Winery is situated in the foothills of the Orange Grove area. Many hectares of vines are planted to supply grapes for the wines made by the Radojkovich family. The Winery/Cellar and store are situated close to the road on the boundary of the property. The brick and tile building is long and rectangular with a small sales office built on the side. In the facade of the building are two round wheel ‘windows’ that give the building a Mediterranean feel.


Wally Radojkovich bought land in Orange Grove in 1927. While still working at Dunstan’s Mountain Quarry he developed the land by planting grapevines. He set up a winery and eventually left the quarry to work on the land. The Australian preference for beer at this time required Wally to work on alternatives to supplement his income, which he did by growing peas and potatoes between the rows of vines in spring. During World War Two a shortage of beer created a demand for wine. This helped the local wineries, particularly Wally Radojkovich’s Jadran Wines. Demand was such that Wally was able to abandon his vegetable growing.

Jadran Wines, run by the Radojkovich family, is still a successful business today, with award winning wines sold throughout Australia. Fortified wines are the speciality and Jadran is now renowned for its White Port. A recent traveller review (30 July 2008) of Jadran Winery appeared on the Total Travel website, posted by Douglas Gray of Bathgate, UK. “Easy to find, just off Tonkin on the other side from Maddington. A quiet little oasis, ideal for a stop off on your journey or as a trip to sample some excellent wines (and buy as well). Friendly staff answered our questions and were very patient as we pondered our choices. Make sure you have a designated driver or be ready to call a taxi!”

Vladimir (Wally is the English version) Radojkovich arrived in Western Australia on 24 February 1926 on the vessel Regina D’Italia from Croatia, formerly Yugoslavia, with his cousin, leaving behind his family. After settling in Orange Grove he found employment at the Orange Grove Blue Rock Quarry doing hard labour splitting rocks, and after several years of working at the quarry, Wally brought 22 acres of land with the intention of establishing a vineyard and creating a winery, Wally named the winery Jadran after treasured memories of a beautiful piece of coastline very close to where he was born in a village on the Dalmatian Coast.

While the grapevines were establishing themselves, Wally created a huge market garden growing everything from beans, peas, potatoes and melons; this supplemented his income which provided for his family of four. In 1929 along with his hard working young wife Reda (nee Hayward), Jadran wines were established. Wally created fortified and table wines. In 1967, Wally’s eldest son Stephen stepped into the business in assisting his father in the wine making, whilst Wally won many gold medals for his fortified wines, Stephen created another selection of wines that was very successful within the wines shows of Australia. Hence, the reason Jadran Wines are still so successful today, their selection is enormous.

In 1990, another generation of the Jadran Wines establishment, Wally’s grandson Paul, arrived with a new passion and creativity in winemaking and marketing. Paul has added another dimension to the flavours of the table wines and a modern take on today’s wine palates keeping Jadran Wines up to date in a very competitive industry. Paul has also won many medals in the Wine Show Circuits all over Australia, giving Jadran the exposure it truly deserves. There are many stories to tell, too numerous to mention, but in the end it is still a family owned business, over three generations offering quality wines and friendly service. Stephen and Paul offer generous tastings of their wines when visiting the winery. Well known for their friendly chats and sharing information about their wonderful selection of wines!