A decade after the colonisation of South Australia in 1836, the area south of Adelaide, then known as Brighton, had developed a reputation for its prime agricultural land. Large parcels were purchased by wealthy British settlers and developed into productive mixed farms with stately homes and significant outbuildings. Few remnants of the orchards, almond groves and vineyards that were abundant in the region remain today.
The Marion Vineyard was planted in 1907 on land adjacent to the historic Oaklands Estate and homestead. By the 1950s, population growth and demand for housing saw much of the agricultural land in the district converted to residential allotments and dwellings. The Marion Vineyard was spared.
Marion Council purchased the vineyard in 1972, where it remained relatively untouched until the 1990s when Council worked to revive the vineyard. By the early 2000s Marion Vineyard had again been neglected.
Patritti was approached by Council in early 2006, asking us to harvest the fruit, from which a fortified wine was made. Later that same year, Marion Council called for tenders by interested parties to manage the vineyard going forward. As the last remaining winery in the district, Patritti was given the contract to manage the site.
Today, the 2.5 acre vineyard is predominantly Grenache with a small parcel of Shiraz and recognised as the world's oldest commercially producing suburban vineyard.
WARRIPARINGA WETLANDS VINEYARD
In 1839 George Fife Angas was granted land in the southern agricultural region of Adelaide. This land was leased and eventually purchased by Henry Trimmer, who developed the land to include 13 acres of vineyards and orchards. After Trimmer's passing the land was sold to Henry Laffer in 1876. Laffer, and subsequent generations of his family, worked the land for 112 years, earning it the name "Laffer's Triange".
Now known as the Warriparinga Wetlands and located adjacent to the Living Kuarna Centre, a small number of Doradillo and Pedro Ximenez vines remain. The history of the vines is not clear; however, it is thought they are not original plantings of Henry Trimmer.
Patritti became custodians of the vineyard in 2019 and a rejuvenation project has commenced, restoring the vines and vineyard to their former glory.
The 2020 vintage produced the first commercial wine from this vineyard in living memory - The April Red, a noveau style red made from a blend of Grenache from the Marion Vineyard and Pedro Ximenez from this vineyard.
OAKLANDS WETLANDS RESERVE VINEYARD
A tiny 1.5 acre vineyard is located at the southern end of the Oaklands Wetlands Reserve. Planted in the mid-1950s, the Muscat vines are not heritage listed but hold historical interest and importance to the region. Originally, the vineyard was harvested as table grapes.
Patritti was awarded custodianship of the vineyard in 2019 and has set about heavily pruning the vines to restore their bush vine shape and vigour. The vines will remain untrellised (bush vines) with the fruit to be made into a fortified wine.