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Local winner in Winewise Championship 2018

Ashley Ratcliff, managing director of Ricca Terra Farms, has been awarded Best Other Red Blend for his 2017 Ricca Terra Vintners Bullets Before Cannonballs in the Winewise Championship 2018.

The Winewise Championship invites all gold medal-winning wines from regional wine shows Australia-wide and the National Wine show to enter. Wines are then judged by a panel of winemakers, media commentators, retail trade people and the Winewise crew to decide the best of the best.

In making Bullets Before Cannonballs Ashley’s aim was to craft a wine that ‘shouted a statement’ to the world that blends of Mediterranean grape varieties grown in the Riverland would make great wines. And he’s certainly done that!

In their review of Bullets Before Cannonballs as one the seven best wines amongst the 2018 winners, the Winewise panel said, ‘The art of wine really comes to the fore in blending, and here’s as good an example as you’ll find. It’s a juicy, spicy, savoury, red berry delight.’ 

The award is yet further recognition of Ashley’s talent as a viticulturist, winemaker and innovator in the wine industry, having already been named the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology Viticulturist of the Year and Riverland Wine Industry/Winemaker of the Year in 2013 amongst other impressive achievements.

After spending a childhood growing up on a sheep and cattle property in the southern area of the Barossa, Ashley carved out a career in the wine industry. He has been employed as a viticulturist, winery manager and general manager in various wine growing regions across Australia and has experience in many international wine industries, such as France, Italy, Canada and California.

Ashley has been the managing director of Ricca Terra Farms since 2003 where his vision was to identify and nurture grape varieties that suited a Mediterranean climate. Today it is one of the leading producers of alternative wine grape varieties in Australia and one of the Riverland’s largest organic vineyards.

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