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Wines from Coonawarra

One of Australia’s Finest Wine Regions

It has to be accepted by each and every wine lover that South Australia has lots to explore in terms of wines.

Coonawarra is one such wine region lying in the Southern Australia and is considered as important in the Australia’s wine industry.

I’d describe this wine region as one of the finest wine regions in the country. Especially, when it comes to the region’s Cabernet Sauvignon, we could feel a magical blend!

I’d encourage you to know more about this region’s viticulture and winemaking.

Wine grape varieties

History and Location of Coonawarra

As per the available evidence, it has been noted that the first vine plantings were made in Coonawarra during the end of the nineteenth century.

However, until the 1950s, only table wines were produced in the region with Shiraz as the primary grape variety.

During the 1950s, the most popular Wynns Winery and other major wineries were set up and subsequently, the region came into the limelight on the world wine map.

It was only in the year 2003 that the region was given the GI title for wine production.
So, where exactly is this region located? The Coonawarra region is located within the Limestone Coast of South Australia.

It forms the far southeastern part of the state adjoining the boundaries with Victoria to the south of Wrattonbully. From Adelaide, it’s located at about 380 kilometres in the southeastern direction.

Geography and Climate of Coonawarra

Coonawarra is one of the few regions in the world to be more popular for its soil than the region itself.

What makes this distinction is the region’s Terra Rossa soil that is derived from fresh waters, lacustrine limestone.

These soils are found to be richer in Aeolian clay and nutrients. The terroirs formed by these soils are found to be the best for the cultivation of Cabernet Sauvignon.

I’d say that the region’s terroirs are incomparable with any other in the world. The region’s proximity to the Southern Ocean offers it a milder maritime type of climate with some Mediterranean effects during the summers.

These effects are moderated by the cooler breezes from the sea. This phenomenon is critical to the vines of Coonawarra as it is responsible for creating the richness, as well as the complexity in the wines.

The vines of Coonawarra are getting an extended ripening phase, which aids the development of strong flavors in the wines.

On an average, the altitude of the region is found to be 55 meters above sea level. It’s to be mentioned here that the region is free from phylloxera.

Alcohol and Distilleries

Facts and Figures of Coonawarra Wine Industry

At present, there are has twenty-eight operating wineries and twenty-two cellar door outlets within the Coonawarra wine region. In total, the region has almost 5603 hectares of land dedicated to vine cultivation.

With a total of 130 vineyards, the region is yielding about 23,480 tons of wine grapes every year.

This way, the region is representing about 7% of the wine grape production in the whole of South Australia.

The wine industry of Coonawarra is currently employing more than 1600 workers.

Wines and Wine Grapes of Coonawarra

By now, you should have understood that Cabernet Sauvignon is the signature variety of Coonawarra. These wines are displaying more concentrated fruit flavours and well-integrated tannin levels.

As the winemaking principles of Coonawarra are circling around taking out as much of the tannins as possible, they will never be overpowering.

This single variety is representing almost 62% of the total wine grape production of Coonawarra. The other key varieties of Coonawarra include:

  • Shiraz
  • Merlot
  • Chardonnay
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Riesling
  • Cabernet Franc
  • Malbec
  • Petit Verdot
  • Pinot Noir
  • Semillon
  • Viognier



Tharani Rajamanickam

Tharani Rajamanickam


I am Tharani, I have Bachelors degree in Biotechnology. I am passionate about the wine industry and continue to explore, learn and share and I bring in a wealth of knowledge and expertise to help you keep updated with best wines in the world. Stay tuned..

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