South Australia

Coonawarra is the most famous wine-growing region in Australia, and it is also the one that was discovered and developed very late. It was not until the end of the 19th century that the attention of the Australian wine world was drawn to this special "cold climate" by John Riddoch with the founding of Katnook Estate. Katnook Estate still exists today and produces good wines. The southernmost wine growing region of South Australia is curiously located in a swampy area. However, the approximately 6000 hectares of vineyards rest on a limestone plateau with good drainage. Coonawarra is one of the few wine growing regions in Australia where the cold influence of the ocean is clearly noticeable. Therefore Coonawarra is climatically, but also qualitatively compared with the Haut-Médoc in Bordeaux. However, in winter the temperatures here can drop so low that there is even a risk of ground frost. The region has recently become famous once again for a 15 kilometre long and 2 kilometre wide strip of red earth called "Terra Rossa". Research has shown that it is specifically on this red soil, made up of different layers of clay and loam, that Australia's best Cabernet Sauvignons grow. In a country that has so far relied more on climate than technology, this finding has triggered a debate about the importance of terroir and driven up the price of vineyards in Coonawarra massively. The cool climate gives both white and red wines a beautiful elegance and sometimes a mineral structure that is unusual for Australia. About 38 producers are firmly established here.
Read more