In the far south-east corner of South Australia lies the Coonawarra wine region situated at 380 km from Adelaide, and approximately 60 km inland from the coastline. One can reach the region by car, which is a comfortable five hours drive from either Adelaide or Melbourne.
Coonawarra wine region is famous for its red terra rossa soil and it is spread in an area that is less than 30 kilometers long and barely 2 kilometer wide.
Coonawarra belongs to the premium quality wine regions known as the Limestone Coast zone. The other regions are the Padthaway, Mount Benson, Wrattonbully and Padthaway. Penola is the sixth region that is in the process of being inducted in the zone.
Coonawarra has a history of viticulture that dates back to over a century. The prolonged wrangling over sites and soils in the 1990s finally ended in 2003 when the Coonawarra GI was introduced in the Registrar of Protected Names. The term tells the physical boundaries of the region and forbids its use under Commonwealth of Australia law.
Today, Coonawarra boasts of 16 wineries and 23 cellar door outlets. The range of production encompasses large scale corporate to family-owned businesses. The largest among them is the Wynns Coonawarra Estate, producing approximately 400,000 cases of wine in a year.
The nearness to the coast (60 km) make Coonawarra subject to maritime climatic conditions with the temperature hovering between 13.8°C-14.8°C during winters and 24.7°C-27.3°C during summers. The latitudinal location at 37° south of the region is ideal to provide very warm ripening periods while the presence of cloud covers acts to moderate the adverse effects.
The vineyards of Coonawarra are planted along a modest limestone ridge, thus making them different from the surrounding flat landscape. The region is less than 60 meters above sea level. There is little variance of heat summation figures here compared to the long-term average of 1430 units of Coonawarra. The mean temperature of Coonawarra as recorded in January is officially recorded as 19.6° C, which is cooler by almost a degree than that found in Padthaway, situated 80 kilometers to the north.
The average rainfall in the region is 640 mm, one third of which falls during the growing season from October to April. The region however has a high rate of evaporation and supplementary irrigation fulfils the need. Due to the harsh nature of spring frosts during October, overhead sprinkler systems are resorted to help reduce the severity.
There are clearly varietal aromas and flavors, vibrant colors characterizing Coonawarra wines with its lingering natural acidities. The variety of grape tannins, including Cabernet Sauvignon that are found here are fine and supple.
Visitors to Coonawarra will find a range of accommodation options that meets every need and budget. These include the cozy bed and breakfasts, hotel accommodation, four star motels, stunning award winning retreats, and caravan & camping facilities. One good thing about Coonawarra accommodation is that you will be staying at a central location due to the compact nature of the region. Willamette Valley wine tours