General Winemaking Philosophy
The region is dominated by sandy loam and clay soils (similar but NOT the same as the terra rossa soils ubiquitous in the more established Coonawarra region to our east). The soils are poor in organic matter, very well drained and characterised by slowly rolling hills - remnants of ancient coastal dune systems.
By far the most influential environmental factor on the vineyard however, is the Bonney Upwelling where freezing water from Antarctica rises to the surface of the Ocean, cools the air and sends it with an almighty force toward the coast of Robe with a ferocity that anyone who has visited Robe in Summer will tell you about! These “summer breezes” cool the vineyards and create consistently low temperatures throughout the growing season. This results in wines with incredible acid retention, freshness, vibrancy and energy. It also dries out the vineyard - lowering the threat of disease majorly - meaning we can do less spraying in December and January and more fishing.
This very specific environmental phenomenon coupled with the small vineyards, small producers, and even smaller wine production (Karatta’s Premium Wildflowers range of Shiraz and Malbec for example is made with just over one tonne of grapes) makes the wines from this region hidden gems within a hidden gem region. There is so much to discover in this emerging region for the traveller who visits.
Karatta Wines had the luxury of a major facelift and new wine direction in the mid-2010s, letting go of the more traditional full-bodied style popular with many consumers. The winery began creating wines of more medium body, more representative of our wine region and climate. Fresher, earlier release, lower intervention wines that highlight the natural acid retention and delicacy of the cool coastal growing region. The reception from travellers at the Karatta Wine Room & Gallery - 5 Victoria Street Robe - has been overwhelming. With the Field Blend, Pinot Noir and Syrah all in the fresher style proving very popular with our guests.