Wrattonbully is a young wine region with a long history. It’s on the Limestone Coast, between Padthaway and Coonawarra.
Fruit growers planted the first vines in 1885 and started selling grapes to Glen Ewin Jams. By the 1920s, there were five acres of vines. In the 1960s, winemakers planted the first wine grapes. By the 1990s, there were over 20 hectares.
The region then expanded, as growers went on a planting spree. Wrattonbully is now home to 2,600 hectares of vineyards, 50 grape growers and 20 wine producers.
It’s no surprise that many of the top names in the Australian wine industry scrambled to get a piece of Wrattonbully. It has all the elements of a successful wine region. The soil is an extension of the Coonawarra’s renowned terra rossa, the red soil found on limestone. Its altitude makes for long growing seasons and there is plenty of good quality, underground water.
Try local Orlando Wines at Russet Ridge Winery and cellar door. Food platters are available; admire the view and enjoy a tasting.
Four wine varieties
Cabernet Sauvignon dominates the region. It makes up almost half of the grapes planted in Wrattonbully. The wine is soft and red berry fruited.
Shiraz is the second most popular variety. The region’s long growing season brings these grapes to their ideal ripeness. Merlot is another. These grapes produce soft, rich and fruity flavoured wines.
The region also produces great Chardonnay, even though it’s mainly a red grape area. Wrattonbully Chardonnay typically tastes of apricots and grapefruit.
Of course, there’s plenty of great food too. Stop in Naracoorte for something to eat. enjoy a hearty meal and some local wine at the Highlander Restaurant. You'll find country service and quality coffee at Maddies Café. Let the kids loose in the play area at Settlers Café.