Coonawarra is a little place with a big name and a major reputation for cabernet. It’s also famous the world-over for its rust-coloured Terra Rossa soil, long and narrow and rich in iron, silica and nutrients (while you’re in town, take the time to find out about its fascinating history).
Red reigns in the Coonawarra – merlot and shiraz, in addition to cabernet sauvignon, are signatures – thanks in no small part to cool nights, a long moderate growing season and pure water that runs below the surface of the earth.
Riesling and chardonnay also benefit from these conditions. There is no shortage of wineries that make the four-hour trek from Adelaide and the five-hour journey from Melbourne worthwhile.
The cellar doors are rustic and the real deal. They’re welcoming and tend to focus more on quality than quantity output.