Wrattonbully wine region is often-overlooked for neighbouring Padthaway and Coonawarra, but offers a rich mix of history, charismatic wine and grape growers, exceptional Wrattonbully Merlot and Wrattonbully Cabernet Sauvignon wines, and a delightful mix of cellar doors and tourism opportunities.
The Wrattonbully wine region is located in the greater Limestone Coast region. The region is bolstered by a Wrattonbully honour roll of wine producers that include luminaries like Brian Croser with his Tapanappa estate, and big players like Yalumba who have invested into the area. The region is made up of a great diversity of boutique and larger profile wineries, each with a significant story to tell.
Where is Wrattonbully?
Wrattonbully is located in the south east of South Australia. Wrattonbully cellar doors are approached via road through the township of Naracoorte, and a straight-forward four hour drive from Adelaide. It’s also an approximately one hour’s drive to Wrattonbully wine region from Mount Gambier airport.
Warmer than Coonawarra and cooler than Padthaway, Wrattonbully wine enjoys a unique climate that is temperate. Wrattonbully map shows the region to be inland yet moderately tempered by maritime influences. It is a warmish region with a warm growing season, but cool nights are positive mitigating factors on the grape growing season.
Unique Characteristics of Wrattonbully
The region produces red wines of generosity, richness and soft texture, and whites of ripe fruit flavour. Red wines dominate the Wrattonbully cellar doors, with Cabernet Sauvignon making up over half of all the vines planted in the region. Shiraz is also an important wine of the region, and Merlot has currency in the context of Australian fine wine.
Wines to try from Wrattonbully
Wrattonbully wine is produced from a broad variety of grape varieties, though wineries typically showcase Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Merlot. Almost half of all the region is planted to Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay is also widely planted, with lesser plantings of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris. Tempranillo is increasingly fleshing out the offering from the region.
Wrattonbully Merlot is arguably at the apex of all Merlot wine in Australia. Flavours tend to be in the plum and chocolate spectrum, and wines are generous, ripe and fuller figured. The texture is typically plush and soft. The Merlot is also often identified with its light, herbal inflection, scents of mint and eucalyptus.
Wrattonbully Cabernet Sauvignon is the area’s red grape talking point. The wines are typically structured, rippling with fine tannin, and though guided by these tannins, often show a suppleness in texture. Cabernet Sauvignon is generally medium to full bodied, offers cassis and berry spectrum fruit character, and given additional complexity from briar and ‘Aussie bush’ herbal characters.
Must See Wrattonbully Wineries
Wrattonbully wine region is home to some 50 growers and producers, though its cellar doors are a little more thin on the ground. That being said, the Wrattonbully map shows some cellar doors open to the public. Wine is largely produced under the banner of existing South Australian wine producers from other significant wine regions. Those growing and producing Wrattonbully wine include:
- Stefano De Pieri
- Down To Earth
- Smith & Hooper
The future of Wrattonbully Wine
Wrattonbully cellar doors will hopefully bolster the existing interest in the historical wine region. World Heritage listed Naracoorte Caves, alongside existing limestone caves of the Wrattonbully wine region provide tourist appeal. Wrattonbully wine will also significantly grow in reputation as more wine producers invest in fruit from the region, particularly as the halo variety of Wrattonbully Merlot proves to be of increasingly high quality.
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Red Wine
- South Australia