Coonawarra Wine Region 

Coonawarra Wine Region is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon but there's more...

Coonawarra railway sidingCoonawarra railway siding
Di Giorgio Montepulciano from South Australia

This is an iconic Australian Wine Region, famous for its terra rossa soils and Cabernet Sauvignon. It is formally part of the Limestone Coast Zone, along with the other regions Mount Benson, Mount Gambier, Padthaway, Robe and Wrattonbully.

This region is located three and a half hours drive south east of Adelaide and its eastern Boundary is demarked by the state border with South Australia and Victoria.  The defining feature is a limestone ridge running approximately north-south. The limestone is overlain by red soil that is extremely friable thus providing ideal conditions for vines to send their roots deep into the soil.

This was once Australia's premium region for Cabernet Sauvignon, but in more recent years Margaret River in Western Australia has claimed that prize.

Nearly 60% of the vineyard area is devoted to Cabernet Sauvignon. This is hardly surprising given the prices winelovers are prepared to pay for these wines.  A few other international varieties are grown as well.

A smattering of alternative varieties barely manage a peep in. Some of the Coonawarra based wineries listed below using alternative varieties use grapes grown elsewhere, especially from the nearby Wrattonbully region which has huge areas under vines but only a handful of wineries.

Alternative varieties in Coonawarra

  • Bellwether Bianco d'Alessano, Montepulciano, Nero d'Avola, Tempranillo, Vermentino
  • Di Giorgio Montepulciano, Tempranillo
  • Hollick Wines Barbera, Saint Macaire, Sangiovese, Savagnin, Tempranillo
  • Jack Estate Tempranillo
  • Koonara Coonawarra Moscato
  • Leconfield Petit verdot
  • Rymill Coonawarra Gewurztraminer

Want to learn More About Australian Wine regions?

Click on the images above and right to find out more about these resources

Visting Coonawarra region

Penola is the only town of any size here.  Coonawarra itself is little more than a dot on the map but it does have an attractive rail siding.  

There are a couple of dozen wineries with Cellar doors so the region is well worth an extended visit.  The box below will give you quick access to the best accommodation deals in the region. 

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