Coonawarra pioneer, John Riddoch, immortalised to celebrate International Cabernet Day

The story of John Riddoch, the Scottish pioneer and founding father of the Coonawarra Fruit Colony has been immortalised in a new book ‘Imagining Coonawarra’ penned by leading Master of Wine Andrew Caillard. Published by Hardie Grant, this fully illustrated volume (also available as an e-book) will be released on August 30 to celebrate International Cabernet Day.

John Riddoch planted vineyards in the late 19th century on unique terra rossa soils of in the now-famous Coonawarra wine region in South East South Australia. In 1896, he completed Wynns’ famous triple-gabled winery, which today features on the label of all Wynns Coonawarra Estate wines, including the iconic cabernet sauvignon which bears his name.

The original growers, known as “blockers”, were originally required to plant shiraz and cabernet sauvignon at a ratio of two to one, with the plan to make wine for the burgeoning export market. But after 1945 Coonawarra, increasingly became world famous for its cabernet sauvignon wines.

Caillard says the John Riddoch story is an important one to be told.“The history of Coonawarra and the imagineering of Wynn’s John Riddoch epitomise the essence of Australia’s fine wine ambitions where terroir, technology and individuality all collide to bring something of great value and importance to the world of wine.

“When the magnificent 1982 Wynns John Riddoch Cabernet Sauvignon was first released it created a sensation in the Australian wine trade. It distilled all the aspirations of John Riddoch’s 19th Century Coonawarra Fruit Colony by highlighting the extraordinary impact of Coonawarra’s unique terra rossa soils and its perfect symmetry with cabernet sauvignon” he adds.

In recognition of its established reputation, popularity and collectability in the fine wine market, Wynns Coonawarra Estate John Riddoch Cabernet Sauvignon will create history in September 2020 when it is launched through the powerful La Place de Bordeaux and distributed by some of Bordeaux’s most influential négociant houses.

It will join the company of other extraordinary Californian and Italian fine wines, in reaching a remarkable network of international fine wine buyers and collectors
in over 100 countries.

Caillard says it is no surprise that Wynns John Riddoch will soon be amongst the company of the finest “Grand Cru” wines of the world. “Wynns John Riddoch Cabernet Sauvignon has featured in every edition of Langton’s Classification of Australian Wine, regarded by observers around the world as a benchmark listing of Australia’s top wines. Rated Exceptional alongside Penfolds Grange and Henschke Hill of Grace, Wynn’s John Riddoch stands as one of Australia’s most recognised wine collectibles with a reputation for extraordinary precision, glorious richness of flavour and longevity. Simply put it is one of Australia’s most admired first growths!”

Meanwhile bottled cabernet sauvignon continues to be a powerhouse varietal in Australia enjoying +9% value growth versus last year.* It is one of the most popular and valuable wines, second only to shiraz. The variety’s natural affinity with Coonawarra’s unique terra rossa terroir has been widely recognised and applauded at Australia’s wine shows and the secondary wine market over the decades.

Imagining Coonawarra follows the journey of this remarkable grape variety through the story of Wynns Coonawarra Estate’s celebrated John Riddoch Cabernet Sauvignon.

Wynns Coonawarra Estate’s winemaker Sue Hodder says “Winemaking at Wynns is a creative privilege. We are inspired by the future and the past. John Riddoch Cabernet Sauvignon is the one wine we truly obsess about! Our viticulture and winemaking teams feel a great sense of responsibility in upholding the stature of this very important and much-loved wine. We are thrilled to be leading the charge for Australian Cabernet Sauvignon on the exceptional La Place de Bordeaux market. We believe that John Riddoch Cabernet Sauvignon possesses all the hallmarks that buyers and collectors value in the finest wines of the world.”

Imagining Coonawarra, the story of John Riddoch Cabernet Sauvignon, is available in hard copy or ebook format. The ebook version is available here

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