The Rymill Family
Peter & Judy Rymill
Peter Riddoch Rymill, the elder son of John and Eleanor Rymill, was born in 1940. A keen equestrian like his father, he competed in California and Ireland, retiring after he won the Australian Show Jumping Championship in 1965.
Peter married international Three Day Eventer and Show Jumper Judith Ritchie in 1964, and horses continued to play an integral role in their competitive and farming lives.
Peter and Judy diversified into viticulture in 1968 with an experimental vineyard, and six years later the family enterprise returned to Coonawarra when planting began on the Rymill Coonawarra Vineyards.
While Judy managed the family farm, Peter completed a degree in Wine Science and a diploma in Wine Marketing before he began building the winery in 1990.
Whilst Peter has now handed the reigns over to his son John and has retired amongst the Rymill Coonawarra vineyards, he still visits the winery twice daily to keep an eye on everyone.
John grew up on the family farm near Penola, South Australia, and gained further pastoral experience on Elkedra Station, north-west of Alice Springs NT, Burraki near Walcha NSW and Rangari at Gunnedah NSW, as well as working in the Rymill vineyards and winery.
John graduated in 2000 from Marcus Oldham Agricultural College, Geelong, with an Advanced Diploma in Rural Business Management and, after travelling overseas, became the manager of Old Penola Estate in 2003.
In his spare time he enjoys being involved with the local community both as a member of the Penola Country Fire Service and as an active participant in the Coonawarra Grapegrowers’ and Vignerons’ Associations.
John was appointed managing director of Rymill Coonawarra Winery in 2008, which makes him the fifth generation with involvement in the district that his great-great-grandfather, John Riddoch, founded in 1890. Now, 125 years later, John is confident that the best is yet to come from Coonawarra, and is determined that his vineyard and winemaking teams will be well to the forefront of these exciting developments.
The Rymill family have a rich history in the Coonawarra region dating back to John Rymill’s great-great grandfather Scottish-born John Riddoch who arrived during the Australian gold rush in 1852, and subsequently founded Coonawarra in 1890.
John Riddoch’s daughter, Mary, grew up at Yallum and married Robert Rymill, the neighbouring Penola farmer.
Her son, John Riddoch Rymill, a distinguished polar explorer, led the 1934-37 British Graham Land Expedition to the Antarctic.