An Introduction to Coonawarra

Coonawarra is one of the most famous wine growing regions in Australia and predominantly associated with Cabernet Sauvignon although Shiraz fares well there too. Quite cool by Australian standards, the Coonawarra GI is almost 400 km southeast of Adelaide and situated between the chilly southern ocean and the border with Victoria. What makes Coonawarra so distinct is its unique geology, a combination of a limestone ridge and a superb, well-drained red soil with neutral pH called terra rossa. The limestone ridge is a mere 15 km long and 2 km wide rising out of a low-lying marshy area with poorly drained black rendzina soils all around it, making Coonawarra a very finite GI, making expansion impossible. Coonawarra Cabernet has classic, bold cassis and blackberry fruit with a distinct leafiness more in common with Bordeaux than California.


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