Classed as an alternative variety when planted in Australia, Vermentino is growing in popularity as more people discover this white wine. If you haven’t tried a glass of Vermentino before, here’s our short rundown!

Pronounce it ver-mehn-tee-noh with your best Aussie accent.

Then let’s start with some information straight from the grower, Ashley Ratcliff of Ricca Terra Farms:

“This Italian grape variety, that can be found in abundance along the Tuscan coast and on the island of Sardinia, flourishes in warm dry climates, similar to that of the Riverland. The canopy growth and our hands-on management of Vermentino provides ample protection from the blistering summer sun. The sun does though play an essential role of developing the golden colour and flavours that makes Vermentino such an amazing wine to drink.

From the very get go, we hand prune and harvest our Vermentino vines. Once harvested the grapes were transported to our close friends and running partners, Jules and Bec, in the Barossa via our refrigerated truck. To play a small part in Small Victories Wine Co means a great deal to Ricca Terra.”

Cheers, Ash! We love your grapes and your family!

Bec and Jules Ashmead with a bottle of Small Victories Vermentino
Bec and Jules enjoying a glass of 2021 Small Victories Vermentino

Vermentino wine characteristics

Vermentino as a variety has crunchy, fresh and vibrant characteristics and we love working with it!

Jules, as winemaker, shares her thoughts on the 2021 Small Victories Vermentino and its winemaking process:

“We had the choice of four vineyards from Ricca Terra Farms. We chose to take a small pick from two blocks – one with really persistent flavour and a second with great acid structure being a little behind in ripening.

Transportation from the vineyard in Barmera (about an hour away from the winery) in the cool of the early morning gave the fruit a little time on skins to help develop flavour. On arrival at the winery, we aimed to keep our Vermentino vibrant with immediate processing, trying to hold on to the freshness and varietal distinction.

We are really happy with the resultant fresh note of our Vermentino (think pears and fresh peaches) as it sits in balance with a vibrant chalky acidity to ensure the wine is refreshing and not heavy on the palate.

I think this wine is a perfect accompaniment to lunch!”

And speaking of perfect food accompaniments, think fish and chips and a spicy mayo or corn chips and guacamole with a big squeeze of fresh lemon or lime. Or there’s always a great match with a cheese platter! For even more ideas check out our Food and Wine Matching blog.

Small Victories Vermentino and cheese plate

Vermentino around the world

Vermentino, like many wine varieties, has different names depending on where it is from and there is some dispute around the variety’s origin. In France, you’ll find Rolle as the most common name. In the Liguria region of Italy it’s called Pigato.

Vermentino can also be made into wine of different styles – ranging from a lighter, more aromatic wine to more powerful and bright styles.

Small Victories Vermentino

Our 2021 Small Victories Vermentino is fruity and flavoursome in style, with aromas of fresh pink grapefruit and sweet limes. The palate is fruit salad and zesty lemon tart with a very subtle textural note giving the wine a quenching palate with a hint of sweet peppercorn.

Now that sounds delicious!

A final word from Ash at Ricca Terra:

“If viticulturists and winemakers could make one single and significant contribution to help mitigate climate change it would be to plant grape varieties that best suit the Australian landscape… and Vermentino is one of those varieties!”