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Our Region

Coonawarra

The Coonawarra region, named after an Aboriginal word meaning 'honeysuckle', is an isolated region 450 kilometres from Melbourne in Victoria and 380 kilometers from Adelaide, South Australia.

Coonawarra is renowned for its special geological and climatic features that nurture vines bearing the highest quality of grapes.

Terra Rossa

Coonawarra's fame hails from a natural soil phenomenon called the terra rossa. Meaning literally 'red earth', terra rossa is a low, cigar-shaped ridge of soil stretching 20 kilometres long and up to 2 kilometres wide.

Terra rossa topsoil is rich and free draining but it is also thin; just five centimetres to 100 centimetres deep. It is one of the best soils for growing vines in Australia; ideal for creating small, well-coloured berries that develop in optimal sunlight. The end result is a yield of intensely-flavoured grapes that are perfectly suited for making premium wines.

Things to See and Do

Coonawarra and Penola are the perfect locations to base yourself whilst exploring the Limestone Coast region. Centrally located, the towns of Naracoorte, Millicent and Mount Gambier are only a 50 kilometre drive away.

Some of the other things you can do in the area are:

  • Visit the heritage Naracoorte Caves.
  • Explore the Blue Lake and sink holes in Mount Gambier.
  • Be amazed by the wildlife at Bool Lagoon.
  • Enjoy fresh crayfish at Beachport or Robe.
  • Dine at award winning restaurants like Pipers of Penola or Mayura Station.    

There are many more places to visit and things to do, all only a short drive from Coonawarra. To enjoy the region, give yourself at least 3 days, because there is a lot to do.

For more information and accommodation assistance email penola@wattlerange.sa.gov.au

Climate

Like many great wine regions of the world, Coonawarra's climate is cool and marginal. It is South Australia's southernmost wine region, positioned just 80 kilometres from the chilly southern ocean and cold Antarctic winds.

The vines are assured a long, cool ripening period that builds up the intensity of flavours slowly in the grape, creating a balanced acidity. The resulting wines will always be among Australia's finest for their richness, intensity, flavour and longevity.

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