The Coonawarra Region

The Coonawarra is in the heart of the South East of South Australia and is a strip of land that is 30 km from north to south and only a few kilometres wide. This Region has become world renowned for the luscious red wines that are produced. A combination of the Terra Rossa soil and the cool climate make superb reds that will tantalise any taste bud.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Full of fruit

The Coonawarra is vastly a rural area, with a small strip of vines in the middle. Originally established by a Scottish settler John Riddoch as the Coonawarra fruit colony, the first vines were planted in 1890.

The Coonawarra is a corridor of great charm with even greater wines, vines set among towering gums trees, settler cottages and local natural attractions. The Coonawarra is situated a short drive from Penola, home of Mother Mary Mackillop's first school.

After Riddoch death in 1901, the Redman family built the area up as a wine-producing centre in the 1920's and 30's, during the hard times of the Depression and World War II. In 1951, Samuel Wynn initiated further growth in the area in turn attracting investors, which could afford to build the area further. The famous Terra Rossa soil attracts many buyers to auction, with them knowing that they will be paying top dollar.

Soil and Climate

Only 60 km inland, the climate is predominately maritime, and the dry and moderately cool summers ripen most grape varieties to perfection. Meteorological data shows a climate similar to that of Bordeaux in France, although the extensive cloud cover moderates the temperatures for the important ripening period. This combined with the Coonawarra Terra Rossa makes for great wine making conditions.



Grape Varieties

Undoubtedly, Coonawarra produces most of Australia's great Cabernet Sauvignon. The concentrated fruit flavours cover the spectrum from blackcurrant to plum to red cherry to prunes.

From 1900 to 1950, the area predominantly grew Shiraz, although there were few vines of Cabernet Sauvignon and fewer Grenache vines. There have been periods where the rise in popularity of Cabernet Sauvignon from the region overshadowed Shiraz, but tod ay, outstanding wines from both varieties are hallmarks of Coonawarra.

Today in the Coonawarra there is a range of vines that are grown.

Cabernet Sauvignon 50%
Shiraz 21%
Chardonnay 10%
Riesling 6%
Merlot 6%
Pinot Noir 3%

Regional Facts

Coonawarra boasts 22 Cellar door sales outlets and 14 wineries. 

Area planted: 4, 447 hectares
White Varieties 691 hectares
Red varieties: 3,756 hectares


Fruit on vine

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