Coonawarra is one of Australia's great wine regions. The first vines were planted in 1891 as part of the 'Penola Fruit Colony' and the area quickly achieved recognition for its fine red wines and is now home to more than 30 wine estates.
One hundred kilometres inland and only 30 kilometres long, the region has a predominately maritime climate, with dry and moderately cool summer days and cool to cold nights. Meteorological data shows a climate similar to that of Bordeaux in France.
The soils are predominantly terra rossa - rich red-brown loam topsoil laid over a thin layer of calcrete, sitting on top of a base of the region's abundance of white limestone. Combined with the cool maritime climate, the soils make for excellent winemaking conditions.
Coonawarra produces most of Australia's greatest Cabernet Sauvignon. The concentrated fruit flavours cover the spectrum from blackcurrant to plum to red cherry to prunes, with a unique Coonawarra earthiness. The wines are renowned for their depth of fruit flavour, complexity, elegance, extraordinary length and their cellaring performance.
As well as Cabernet Sauvignon, Coonawarra is renowned for its stylish Shiraz and Merlot. Riesling and Chardonnay are the two predominant white varieties, with the region producing some of the nation's finest examples of these styles.