WRATTONBULLY WINE REGION

The Wrattonbully wine region was settled in 1842 by hardworking farming pioneers. Prior to this, Aboriginal people had lived on much of the land. The land proved suitable for many farming enterprises and the Wrattonbully region is well known to this day for producing premium livestock, wool and crops. The region is also known for the World Heritage listed limestone caves and ancient geology.
The settlers came to the Wrattonbully wine region mainly from Scotland – George Ormerod took up the Naracoorte Run and the Robertson brothers took up land at Struan, on Mosquito Creek. John Robertson also owned Elderslie and Wrattonbully Stations. Adam Smith settled east of Naracoorte at Broadmeadows, later renamed Hynam. These settlements along with several others including Joanna, Laurie Park, Mt Light and Kybybolite, and the little villages that sprung up around them, now form the Wrattonbully wine region.
The first grapevines were planted in the area by George McEwin in 1885 at “Kelvin”. McEwin planted grapes as well as other fruit to supply Glen Ewin Jams. By the 1920s, five acres of grapes thrived – mainly the variety Muscatel. However, it was not until the late 1960s that the first wine
grapes were planted. In 1969, 11 hectares were planted by the Pender family, including Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. This was followed by John Greenshields of Koppamurra Vineyard in 1974, with four hectares of Cabernet Sauvignon.
The planting boom in Wrattonbully during the 1990s was led by Australia’s larger wine companies, but was also carried out by many of the region’s farming families and wine companies from surrounding areas. Wine producers from outside the region were attracted by the large tracts of terra rossa soil found in the Wrattonbully region. Generally it is this combination of generational pastoralists who have an understanding for the land, and viticulturists with a keen eye for great viticultural sites that are building on the established reputation for premium products from the land. These growers are now producing high quality fruit and, award winning wines – making Wrattonbully a real basket of plenty.
Between 1991 and 2000 the vineyard area in Wrattonbully increased to more than half its current size (Figure 2.6). During this period the varietal mix in the region expanded to include Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. In the last century plantings have further increased and some less common varieties such as Pinot Gris, Sangiovese, Tempranillo and Viognier have been introduced.

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