Ricca Terra, Australia

That the Riverland region of South Australia is now being re-imagined and reinterpreted is, in part, due to the efforts of one man.

As a viticulturist, Ashley Ratcliffe knew that not only were some of the best Riverland vineyards undervalued but that many were planted with the wrong varieties for the climate. Over the last few years, these vineyards have come on stream with varieties like Montepulciano, Touriga, Arinto, Fiano and Nero D’Avola to name but a few. Ashley's Ricca Terra range 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 here.

Viticulture

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. 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.

HIGHLIGHTS
  • Recognised by numerous bodies for its on-going contribution to the Australian wine industry and the environment.
  • Vibrant, quirky, cleverly made wines from some slightly alternative grape varieties.
5 Star Winery
James Halliday Australian Wine Companion
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