Riverland Wine congratulates Ashley and Holly Ratcliff on their latest triumph, having five out of five of the wines they submitted for the 2020 James Halliday Wine Companion scoring 92 points or higher with three wines scoring 95/100. All the wines are ‘alternative varieties’ i.e. varieties that are particularly suited to our Riverland climate and growing conditions. They also emphasise those viticultural practices that strive for quality such as crop thinning, hand pruning and hand picking.
There’s no doubt that the Riverland’s success as the region producing Australia’s most popular wines has derived from best practice in producing more-with-less, on a commercial scale. A perverse consequence of that success has been decades of negative labelling on the part of less informed industry and media observers alike. As the industry crests the new wave of optimism it’s new family concerns like Ricca Terra who are shining a light on the opportunities for the inventive, agile, adventurous smaller niche players who read different market signals well beyond the mainstream. Increasing numbers of these smaller independent winegrowers are adding value to their vineyard toil; moving beyond the conventional long-term safety nets offered by large publicly owned companies.
There’s plenty of room in this region for both sets of players and their business models. But there are also ‘new models’ emerging. The industry in the Riverland is alive and well. There’s a transition happening, and we can all be part of it. The Riverland is truly ‘on the verge’ of the new wine era.
Well done Ashley and Holly; there are plenty of well-known labels that would kill for five scores from James’ Wine companion above 92/100. And take heart Riverland Wine growers, this is the sort of achievement and recognition that will eventually bury the ‘cringe’ and build the PRIDE.
Visit the Ricca Terra website to learn more about them and their wines.