Christina (Chris) Gillies and husband John Williams were grandparents before they embarked on a search for what became Rupert's Ridge in 2003. Armed with the bravery of ignorance, a book on how to plant a vineyard, and Alan Cooper of Cobaw Ridge to give advice in moments of crisis, they began planting 2.5ha of shiraz and viognier. The following year they planted another 2ha, mainly shiraz but with 0.25ha each of vermentino and sagrantino. The first crop (6 tonnes) came in '06, and over the next two years they retained 1 tonne (producing 70 dozen) selling the remainder of the grapes. The intention was to double the production in '09, but the best-laid plans were turned to ashes by the '09 bushfires. By the lead up to the '12 vintage the vineyard had been restored to its former glory. The name, incidentally, is that of their Great Dane mastiff, who provides a 24-hour security service, and escaped the fire.
Cobaw Ridge (Alan Cooper)
843 Metcalfe-Redesdale Road, Redesdale, Vic 3444 (postal)
(03) 5425 3297