We’re not the most sentimental of people, but even we’ll admit that when it comes to wine, some things are just meant to be. Take Ottelia Wines, for example. Winemakers John and Melissa moved to their patch of land in Coonawarra with the intention of only staying there for one season - the eventual aim was to move onto one of Australia’s famed wine regions once they’d honed their skills - but once that first harvest was bottled, they were hooked. The limestone soils, the iconic Aussie gum trees lining the vineyard, the way the grapes would ripen… it was all a bit too perfect, especially for John; a man who’d fallen in love with winemaking at the age of 17, and has never stopped being amazed and enamoured by the process since.

Since that first stop-gap year, Ottelia has grown from strength to strength. Any suggestion of moving on from Coonawarra has long since gone out of the window, and John and Melissa’s characterful, bold and delicious wines have gained something of a cult following among Aussie wine fans. Ottelia wines are all about letting the fruit to do the work. There’s no excessive oaking, no messing around with excess tannins, no heavy chemical intervention… this is stripped-back viticulture, in which the fruit is the undeniable star of the show.


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