That the Riverland region of South
Australia is now being re-imagined and reinterpreted is, in part,
due to the efforts of one man - Ashley Ratcliffe.
Having been an integral part of the esteemed Yalumba winery in
the Barossa for more years than he'd care to mention, Ashley ( and
his wife Holly) set out on their own to pursue the dream that he
had quietly begun while at Yalumba.
Ashley, as a viticulturist, knew that not only were some of the
best Riverland vineyards undervalued but that many were planted to
the wrong varieties for the climate. He set about re-planting a
number of vineyards around the town of Barmera to a real fruit
salad of "alternative" varieties. Over the last few years, these
vineyards have come on stream, growing fruit for many well known
winemakers across South Australia - all keen to get their hands on
varieties like Montepulciano, Touriga, Arinto, Fiano and Nero
d'Avola to name but a few.Never one to believe that he has too many
fingers in too many pies, Ashley launched the Ricca Terra range of
wines to much industry acclaim in 2017 and now, for the first time,
they are available in the UK.
Though Ashley is an industrious, quietly spoken chap, he's had a
pretty colourful life and some of the labels (such as the Bronco
Buster) give hint to his past. These are vibrant, quirky,
cleverly made wines that have deliciousness as their raison d'etre.
More than that though, they are a beacon for the future
sustainability of a previously much derided region and it is to
Ashley's credit that other serious producers are now taking fruit
from the region.
- Alternative varieties which include, Nero d'Avola, Lagrein,
Zibibbo, Fiano as well as superior clones of Merlot and Cabernet
- Terra Rossa soils
- Recognised by numerous bodies for its on-going contribution to
the Australian wine industry and the environment
- Identifies varietals most suited to a sustainable future