Updated: Oct 14
The first thing to know about Coonawarra, South Australia is that although it is sometimes over shadowed by regions closer to Adelaide such as Barossa Valley and Adelaide Hills, this region holds its own and is well worth the trip. With over 5,600 hectares under vine, Coonawarra has more than 120 vineyards located along the famed 'Coonawarra Strip'.
Why is the 'Coonawarra strip' just 20km long and 2km wide worth noting?
First planted in the late 1800s, Coonawarra has a distinct appellation and its terra rossa soil is one of the notable terroirs. Being just 60 km from the coast, Coonawarra has a maritime climate often compared to Bordeaux. This explains why Cabernet sauvignon is the star but merlot, and chardonnay are also strong players in Coonawarra.
Many people plan to visit for a couple of days (It is only 4 hours drive from Adelaide and 4.5 from Melbourne) but one weekend is barely enough time to scratch the surface of the Coonawarra and Limestone coast region.
Driving the vineyard-lined roads, past farmland, forest and its wide open terrain you will pass more than 30 cellar doors and unlike visits to some wineries in Australia you often don’t need reservations and wine tastings are mostly free.
It’s worth noting there’s more than wine to keep you occupied when visiting, including beautiful beaches at the seaside towns of Robe and Beachport, state parks and the Naracoorte caves, quaint towns such as Penola and Petticoat lane, the Coonawarra Wineries Walking Trail and local dining scene.
Yes, you’ll definitely need to extend your weekend.
- Whistle Post Estate Vineyard and Cellar Door is located on the outskirts of Penola, walking distance from most local accomodation. Open for wine tastings and wine by the glass from 11am-6pm. Learn more about our cellar door here