History

Specialising in cool climate wines, the Delatite winery is located on a picturesque rise, overlooking the vineyards, toward Mt Buller in north-east Victoria. It is a small family run winery, established in 1982 by Robert and Vivienne Ritchie and now run by their son David, with the assistance of winemaker Andy Browning. The 26 hectare vineyard sits between 450 and 500m above sea on slopes that vary in gradient and outlook (from north-east to north-west) whilst the predominant soil type is red ironstone.

Their approach to wine making has been forged from the family’s history of working with the land in Victoria for over 170 years, first arriving at Port Fairy in 1836. In the late 1890’s Geoffrey Ritchie moved to Mansfield having purchased Delatite Station that is still owned by the Ritchie family.

In 1968 Robert and Vivienne heeded the advice of one of the most eminent winemakers from the Barossa Valley, Jim Irvine, and planted what was probably the first cool climate vineyard in Australia on the steep hills overlooking the mountains. From 1974 through to 1981 they sold these grapes to Brown Brothers at Milawa who were so impressed by the quality and individuality of the different varieties that they made and bottled them under a separate and special “Delatite Individual Vineyard’ range of very limited release wines. In 1981, given the quality of these wines, they enlisted the help of Dr Tony Jordan and Brian Croser to design a small winery and provide consulting advice on winemaking. The winery was built in time (and during) the 1982 vintage and the very first red and white wines from that year all won Gold medals at national shows (Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot noir, Cabernet sauvignon)