The rich Terra Rossa soil unique to Coonawarra Wineries
Coonawarra Wineries are particularly known for producing world class red wines especially Cabernet Sauvignon. Coonawarra’s secret lies in the combination of the rich red terra rossa soil, limestone, pure underground water and a long cool ripening season for the grapes. Coonawarra is named from a local Aboriginal word meaning ‘honeysuckle’, is situated in south-east South Australia, some 375 kilometres from Adelaide and slightly further from Melbourne.
More than 24 Coonawarra wineries have cellar door sales outlets, mostly open seven days a week (except Christmas Day) and you will be warmly welcomed for tastings. Our Coonawarra Wine Map highlights each wineries location and contact details.
The cigar-shaped strip of ‘terra rossa’ (red earth) is finite, only 12km long and 2km wide, boasts the most sought-after vineyard soil in Australia and is all but taken up by vineyards. When the sun hits the soil, it positively glows a vibrant rusty red. But, it’s not just the soil’s colour that makes it famous; This fertile topsoil covers a bedrock of porous limestone which assists with the winter drainage and summer moisture retention. This is why Coonawarra is one of the greatest regions in the world for growing Cabernet Sauvignon. Coonawarra soil produces low-yielding and intensely flavoured grapes, helped by the cool to moderate climate of long dry autumn days and cool nights.
The Coonawarra Vignerons Association plays host to several exciting events throughout the year. In January, The Coonawarra Cup is contested at the Coonawarra Vignerons race meeting. The lights of vintage will be on in April as we celebrate vintage at Coonawarra After Dark. There are cultural activities and exhibitions all year round but brilliantly showcased in the Penola/Coonawarra Arts Festival in May. During the winter month of July our cellar door sales offer rare back vintage tastings of Coonawarra wines for Coonawarra Cellar Dwellers. The year reaches its pinnacle in October when Coonawarra winemakers submit their ‘best’ barrel of Cabernet for the ‘Barrel Series’ charity auction supported by an array of ‘Cellarbrations’ by individual wineries held as part of the Coonawarra Cabernet Celebration weekend.