After a fascinating stint as a World War II Lancaster bomber pilot over the skies of Europe, Bill Ullinger returned to Australia to pursue a career in engineering. Having founded, built and run a successful civil engineering company for some 20 years Bill’s itchy feet got the better of him and he decided to take a punt on growing grapes and making wines in the just emerging Margaret River wine region. In 1976, Bill moved to Margaret River and purchased a property from Johnny Walker (a local legend) and set about the task of planting out a vineyard and building a winery. The first vines were planted in 1977 and first wines were made in 1981. In 1982 Redgate took out the prestigious Montgomery Trophy at the Adelaide Wine Show for Best Cabernet at Show. From that point on Redgate, under the careful eye of Bill and his family, has grown into one of Australia’s premium boutique wineries.
The name Redgate has a history that we love to share. A number of years ago a property close by had a reputation for producing very good moonshine. As the said property had a prominent red gate this became the byword for people in the know that wished to purchase the illicit produce. In recognition of the service that this farmer offered the community, Bill named his property and wines Redgate.
Along with more traditional varieties Redgate also has plantings of Cabernet Franc that isn’t widely planted in the area – is that correct?
After a number of great Cabernet Francs from Redgate we now feel that this variety forms the backbone of our flagship wine. Hence the fruit sourced from a single block of 35 year-old vines is treated with kid gloves. Cabernet Franc has a tendency to be vigorous, therefore we hard prune the vines to reduce the yield and increase the colour and flavours. The bunches are also hand thinned to retain only premium quality fruit that is picked in the morning to preserve the primary fruit flavours.