In the Christmas edition of the Australian Gourmet Traveller, Max Allen has written a fantastic article on terroir and the Riverland. As Max states, the link between terroir (the environmental conditions, especially soil and climate, in which grapes are grown and that give wine its unique flavour and aroma) and the Riverland never gets much of a mention. Unfortunately, too many people have tarred all Riverland growers and winemakers with the same brush….that being growing and making cheap booze! Over the past decade, Ricca Terra Farms and a few others have started to change such narrow views. Unfortunately not enough Riverland growers and winemakers are developing unique offering for the grapes they grow or the wine they make. The region, therefore continues to suffer a massive Boxing Day hangover caused by adopting commodity production models that have led to the over supply of super cheap grapes and wine.
During 2015, Ricca Terra Farms pulled out a small patch of Cabernet Sauvignon that was sold to a large Riverland wine company….who made it into cheap booze! The Cabernet Sauvignon was removed because it was growing in the best piece of soil that Ricca Terra Farms owns plus it was being sold at a loss for the past few years. The soil is typical terra rossa and has the potential to grow amazing grapes for outstanding wine production.
Four varieties have been planted in a one hectare plot of soil. The four varieties; Nero d’Avola, Montepulciano, Lagrein and Aglianico are already grown in other vineyards owned by Ricca Terra Farms and all make great wines. The vision is to blend these four varieties together and make a stand alone wine for an existing or new winemaking customer.
Watch this space…..this small patch of Riverland terroir will have its own identity! It possibly could be the first ‘Grand cru’ vineyard of the Riverland.
Thanks Max for reminding us that the Riverland can be a special wine growing region….too many are shouting the opposite! Ricca Terra Farms will continue to strive to grow world class grapes for our long list of quality winemaking customers. The future will always be bright for those growers and winemakers willing to take a risk, develop a point of difference and have a focus on growing and making premium wine.
Rise Riverland Rise!!