Ridgeback Wines was initially purchased in 1997 and was operating as a fruit farm. The Directors Vernon and Lesley Cole decided at a fairly early stage that the fruit business was not what was wanted and with the help of Jerry Parker an old business colleague who was an ex-tobacco grower from Malawi converted the farm to growing wine grapes. Initially the plan was to sell to the local co-op but the temptations to produce the farms own label started the farm on its current route.
In 2000 they did a small production of Vansha White followed by the 2001 Ridgeback Shiraz for which they were fortunate enough to get a five star John Platter award. This in many ways led to the rapid development of a wine cellar, wine tasting centre and restaurant.
The choice of name as Ridgeback was because of the directors’ background in Zimbabwe. The Ridgeback originates from South Africa where legends and stories abound of their exploits and bravery in the African bushveld. Their tenacity and ruggedness are symbolic of the pioneering spirit of Africa.
The Ridgebacks pedigree, character and stature are reflected in all their red wines, and they have a comprehensive portfolio of award-winning wines covering Cabernet, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and our Flag ship Shiraz and Masters Choice. Our whites cover Chenin, Sauvignon Blanc and our very special Viognier.