Writer, photographer, educator, explorer of places new, with a passion for adding fun back into life.
Published December 21st 2014
Simply delicious wines and sparkling juices
Giovanni Patritti loved spiders. He also loved fine wine. Giovanni's foresight in locating good grape growing land saw this new Italian immigrant set up a vineyard at Dover Gardens, an area once known as the Garden of Adelaide. Sitting inconspicuously above the doorway to the Cellar Door sales, one love pays homage to the other. The lights are still on at Patritti as they near their ninetieth year. Here in Dover Gardens, just 15 minutes from Adelaide city and Glenelg is the only the only fully operational, 100% family-owned winery and cellar door located in an Australian capital city.
Patritti spider lights the way Photograph by TP Prior
A Brief Bottled History
Giovanni arrived in Port Adelaide in 1925. He arrived with nothing but his astute skills of observation and the knowledge gained by growing up in a large Italian wine making family. He noted the absence of fine table wines in Australia and started leasing viable grape growing land in the Brighton District. By the 1940's Giovanni owned a winery and several vineyards central to Adelaide. From the 1920's to the 1960's he made dry red table and fortified table wines.
Demand for residential land grew in the 1950's and the vineyards surrounding the winery were acquired to provide homes for the growing population. New vineyards were purchased and planted in McLaren Vale and Blewitt Springs. These Grenache and Shiraz vineyards are highly regarded for their fruit.
Tours of the Patritti winery can be booked by groups. Behind the guard-spider lies the bottling machines and the fascinating automatic carton opening machine.
Traditional oak and jarrah vats share floor space with modern stainless steel storage.
The range of Sparkling Grape Juices are ideal for gift-giving and the perfect choice for celebratory occasions that include children, drivers or teetotallers or where ever a fancy alcohol-free drink is desired. The delicious, healthy Sparkling Grape and Apple Juices are free from alcohol, added sugar and artificial colouring and flavouring.
Tastings and sales are available at the Cellar Door
The golden foil tops of Sparkling White Grape Juice
Glamorous Gloria shines with her vivid yellow foil top. Once her name graced a pasta range. Now she is a fine Chardonnay.
The 1970's saw two of Giovanni's sons, John and Geoff, create a new and innovative product. Patritti began crafting 100% natural, non-alcoholic, sparkling grape juice from wine grapes. This delicious product, my own family favourite for three generations, has remained Patritti's unique winery attraction for more than 40 years.
Giovanni's grandson James Mungall became the third generation winemaker to enter the business in 2001. James and friend and fellow winemaker Ben Heide began experimenting with single vineyard wines with huge success. James Halliday (Australian wine writer and judge) expressed surprise at the combination of high quality and low prices of the Patritti wines, 'Quite how this has come about I don't know, but Patritti is currently releasing wines of very high quality at enticing prices.'
The JPB Single Vineyard Shiraz commemorates the arrival of Giovanni (known as John) Patritti in Australia in 1925. His wines were sold under under the John Patritti Brighton label. This signature wine scored 96/100. A full list of wines scoring over 90 is available on the Patritti website.
The Marion Vineyard
One special bottle of Patritti wine is made from local grapes that are harvested from the oldest suburban vineyard in Australia. Marion Vineyard on Oaklands Road is a solitary testimony to the time when Brighton and Marion were once known for their vineyards, market gardens and almond groves. This last remaining hectare of vines was planted in 1907 and currently belongs to the City of Marion. It is cared for by the Council and leased to Patritti for $1 per annum. Marion Vineyard Grenache Shiraz is bottled from the fruit of this vineyard.
Whether you are looking for a distinctive gift for a wine-loving friend or a sparkly drink that all ages can share; you will find it at the handy location of Patritti Cellar Door in Dover Gardens.