Coonawarra’s agricultural history began in the mid-1800s when settlers recognised the potential of the flat, fertile plains for sheep farming and fruit growing. Enterprising Scottish settler John Riddoch planted Coonawarra’s first grapevines in 1891, thirty years after establishing a lucrative sheep farm at Penola.
At the time, the region was prosaically named the ‘Penola Fruit Colony’. In 1897 Riddoch gave it the more lyrical title of Coonawarra, Aboriginal for ‘honeysuckle’. Riddoch’s successful plantings laid the foundation for others to follow. At a time when Australia was known for its fortified wines, Coonawarra became known as a reliable source of quality red table wines.
Coonawarra is only 100 km inland, and therefore the region mainly has a maritime environment, with dry and medium cool summers that perfectly mature most grape varieties. The wide cloud cover, which moderates the temperatures during the maturation period, also sets the region apart. The Coonawarra terra rossa is the most renowned farmland in Australia. Coloured, it is either friable sub plastic clay or a slightly friable loam from a soft calcareous bed and lying on it.
The terra rossa band is only one kilometre wide and runs through Coonawarra for 12 kilometres. This small stretch of land is one of Australia's most valuable and controversial parts of the Australian wine-making world. But this is a region in which the production of world-class wines is interwoven with the community rather than creating an elitist environment
Premium Grape Varieties
Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz ,Merlot
Total Vineyard Size
Feb – April