Renowned for its rich, terra rossa soil, 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. Following a downturn in the early part of the twentieth century, the region experienced resurgence in the late 1950’s as the demand for red table wines increased. Triumphantly revived as a premium wine growing region in the 1960s, Coonawarra is now home to more than 30 wine estates.
Sixty miles inland and only eighteen miles 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, although the extensive cloud cover moderates the temperatures for the important ripening period. Mornings during vintage are typically misty.
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.