Ratcliff and his family purchased their Barmera vineyard in 2003 and set out to plant, nurture and make wine from grape varieties best suited to Australia’s warm and dry climate. Ricca Terra was born.
Chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon and merlot quickly made way for nero d’Avola, montepulciano, tinta barroca, fiano, vermentino and many other Mediterranean varieties.
Ratcliffe’s vision became reality and in 2019 Ricca Terra was awarded a five-star rating in the 2020 James Halliday Wine Companion. In 2021 the same guide listed it among Australia’s top 10 upcoming wineries.
The secret behind Ricca Terra’s premium wines is to use grape varieties that are better suited to the warm and dry climatic conditions of the Riverland. Ratcliff has implemented viticulture practices that strive for quality, among them crop thinning, hand pruning and hand harvesting.
His accolades to date include being named viticulturist of the year by the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology and Gourmet Traveller WINE, and Riverland winemaker of the year.