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The oldest urban winery in the World?!

Urban wineries have been popping up all over the world during the last few years. There is Noita in Fiskars, Blackbook in London and Red Hook in New York to name a few. A lesser known story is that of Patritti in Adelaide, South Australia.

The story of Patritti is an interesting one. In 1925 at the age of just 25, Giovanni Patritti left his Piedmontese village of Carru and boarded a ship at the Port of Genoa. Giovanni thought he was heading to America to meet his sister but instead he landed in Port Adelaide! He was among the first of many Italian immigrants to arrive in South Australia. You would think that it would be hard to find work in a new country when you can’t speak a word of English. Giovanni changed his name to John and quickly found a job selling ice cream at the Botanic Gardens in Adelaide.

Within a year, Giovanni was leasing vineyards and making wine for the “new Australians”. Fast forward a few years and Giovanni owned several acres of vineyard and had built a winery with his best friend Jimmy. For the next 40 years Patritti mainly produced dry red table wines and fortified wines. As the city of Adelaide grew, the urban sprawl slowly spread across the land. The original family vineyards that surrounded the winery were unfortunately lost to urban development. In the 1960’s the family decided to purchase two premium properties in nearby McLaren Vale and that is where a lot of their grapes still come from today.

The Patritti winery remains in its original location in south Adelaide. It is now perhaps the oldest urban winery in the world. The Patritti family are also custodians of the historic Marion Vineyard, planted in 1907 and believed to be the oldest operating urban vineyard in the world. Senior winemaker James is 3rd generation Patritti and lives in Giovanni’s old house at the winery. The Patritti family maintains an excellent reputation for producing great value for money wine. As well as making classics like McLaren Vale Shiraz, they also work with unique grapes like Saperavi. It is all thanks to Giovanni so raise a glass to him next time you open a Patritti!

Tom Murray Willis

Founder Tom Murray's Thirsty Bear is a Helsinki-based wine agency that focuses on the New World with a few special exceptions. We love independent, family owned vineyards and organically farmed grapes. Our goal is to bring more wine with character made by passionate winemakers to the people of Finland.

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