The Australian Geographical Indication (GI) “Wrattonbully” was entered in the Register of Protected Names on 5 July 2005 – (see map below for boundaries of Wrattonbully GI), and is contained within the much larger Limestone Coast GI (which was entered in the Register of Protected Names on 27 December 1996).
As such, Wrattonbully is considered a fairly new wine region of Australia. However, the first plantings in Wrattonbully date back to 1969, when 11 hectares were planted by the Penders, including 4 hectares of Shiraz, 4 hectares of Cabernet Sauvignon and 4 hectares of Chardonnay. This was followed by John Greenshields, with his Koppamurra Vineyard in 1974, where he planted 4 hectares of Cabernet Sauvignon. This vineyard has since been bought by Tapanappa and re-named the Whalebone Vineyard, and is situated just across the road from the Terre à Terre vineyard.
Wrattonbully has increased significantly in size since its early plantings and now comprises around 2,600 hectares of vineyards, most of which is Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Wrattonbully terroir is very similar to the Coonawarra terroir in that it has limestone ridges covered by terra rossa soils. However, the vineyards in Wrattonbully are located east of the Kanawinka Fault, and are more elevated than the coastal plains vineyards, as well as being on much older limestone and much older soil sediments (35 million-years-old vs. 800,000 years-old for Coonwarra). The climate in Wrattonbully is very similar to Bordeaux with heat summations of 1,350 degree days during the growing season.