John Riddoch (1827-1901), a Scottish native, emigrated in 1850 Australia on. By operating a trading station in the gold fields in Penola (South Australia), he had made an extraordinary amount of money, which he now invested in the purchase of huge areas of land covering 500 square kilometers (50,000 hectares). He founded "The Riddoch Run" and dealt with sheep breeding, of which 160,000 grazed in his pastures. This earned him the name "Squire of Penola" (Lord of Penola).
In 1890 he founded the "Penola Fruit Colony" between Coonawarra and Mount Gambier. The Scotsman William Wilson owned a hectare of land near Penola, where he achieved phenomenal results with vegetables and fruit trees. This wealth of harvest made Riddoch aware of the area, most of which he owned. He divided 800 hectares of his property into four-hectare blocks and sold a unit for £ 100. The numerous buyers primarily planted fruit trees, but also grapevines. A document shows that as early as 1897 exactly 89 hectares of this land were sold vines were planted.
Riddoch himself planted vines on 52 hectares and built a large winery until 1895, in which he processed all the grapes of the area. He called his winery Coonawarra, which means "honey sucker" in the Aboriginal language, later the entire area became the most suitable for viticulture Terra Rossa floor (red earth) so called. Its winery and parts of the vineyards are now the core area of the winery Wynns, Riddoch produced its first wine in 1895. A year later, as Winemaker, he hired William Salter, who made the second wine of an already appealing quality in a wool shed. This part of the property was called Katnook, which means "Fat Land" in the Aboriginal language. This later became today's winery Katnook Estate out. With the death of John Riddoch, his company also died, and Coonawarra did not become a special term in Australian viticulture until the 1950s. A direct descendant of John Riddoch leads the winery today Rymill,