(Walt Disney)

18th August 2019

The dare to dream has been at the heart of Ricca Terra from the very get go back in 2003 when Holly and Ashley Ratcliff purchased their first vineyard. Overnight the dream became a reality when Ricca Terra became the very first Riverland wine business to be awarded a five-star rating in the 2020 James Halliday Wine Companion (the Wine Companion is regarded as the bible of wine reviews). Ricca Terra was also listed in the top ten best new wine businesses in Australia.

The dream has been to grow and make super premium wine from a region that has unfortunately and understandably been labelled as the engine room of the Australian Wine Industry. While bulk wine growing regions are essential for the future of Australian wine, the recognition Ricca Terra has received from James Halliday clearly supports the notion that the Riverland can produce premium wine.

The secret behind Ricca Terra’s premium wines is to use grape varieties better suited to the warm and dry climatic conditions of the Riverland. The implementation of viticulture practices that strive for quality, practices such as crop thinning, hand pruning and hand harvesting.

Of the greatest importance are the people and businesses who have and continue to import and promote new grape varieties. Vine nurseries, such as Yalumba, Riverland Vine Improvement Committee and Chalmers have changed the landscape of wine in our country! And then there is the Australian Alternative Variety Wine Show, the epicenter of varietal wine diversity.

All the Ricca Terra wines submitted to the 2020 James Halliday Wine Companion scored 92+/100, with three wines scoring 95/100 (comments below are extracts direct from the Wine Companion).

2018 Small Batch Arinto: ‘An excellent Portuguese variety that retains beautiful natural acidity in warm climates – surely a great addition to the Australian landscape’. Score95/100

2018 Small batch Nero d’Avola: ‘One of the best easy-drinking Nero d’Avola wines around. Try stopping at one glass, it’s so delicious’. Score – 95/100

2018 Bullets Before Cannonballs (Lagrein, Nero d’Avola, Montepulciano & Tempranillo): ‘Bursting with bright juicy red fruits, flecks of exotic spice, savoury tannins, and fresh acidity working across the lighter-frame plate’ Score – 95/100

2018 Small batch Grenache Blanc – Score 92/100

2018 Small batch Tinta Barroca – Score 92/100

The results from James Halliday adds to the other national recognitions (Gourmet Traveller and Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology viticulturist of the year) that Ricca Terra has been awarded for striving to grow and make premium Riverland wine. If you dream it, you can do it!

For more information contact;

Ashley Ratcliff – 041 1370 057 (

Shelley Kasotakis – 0410 699 640 (