Descendants of Irish migrants, the Nolan family have resided in Wrattonbully since 1909. Originally sheep farmers, it was Philip & Anne Nolan who in 1995 diversified into vines, planting 28ha of Chardonnay & Cabernet Sauvignon. The most recent plantings include a block of Shiraz.

Wrattonbully lies just to the north of Coonawarra, enjoying the same mix of terra rosa soils (loam over limestone & ironstone) but with the added benefit of elevated slopes. With such propitious terroir it was only a matter of time before the Nolans triggered a clause in their grape-growing contract enabling them to hold onto, vinify and bottle 10% of their 2006 Cabernet & 2007 Chardonnay crops under their own label. Daughters Susie and Amelia are now involved in the fledgling project. The Cabernet Sauvignon is hand-reared, nothing added or taken away.

With the Brand Australia juggernaut seemingly running out of juice, it’s great to see the likes of the Nolan Family Wines being finally recognised. Maybe it also coincides with a generation change; the young bucks keen to see their carefully tended fruit bottled under their own label rather sold off for blending purposes.

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