After another sumptuous breakfast we will stop for a morning coffee at the lovely township of Mount Gambier then drive to Penola and the heart of the Coonawarra.
Coonawarra is renowned as one of Australia’s finest wine regions and is particularly known for producing world class red wine especially Cabernet Sauvignon. Its secret lies in the magical marriage of rich red terra rossa soil, pure underground water and a long cool ripening season for the grapes.
The first vineyard was planted by John Riddock in the 1880’s, but the area didn’t really establish its reputation until the 1950’s, mainly due to the Wynns and Penfolds acreages. Since then due to the combined efforts of many outstanding grape growers and talented winemakers, the area produces wine that is generally regarded as Australia’s best. The key is the intense fruit character and great balance.
Today the Coonawarra vineyard land is very prized. The cigar shaped strip of terra rossa is finite, only about 12 km long and 2km wide. Only grapes grown in this small region can truly be called Coonawarra, a name which is entered on the Register of Protected Names. More than 20 Coonawarra wineries have cellar door sales outlets and you will be warmly welcomed for tastings. It is one of the easiest wine regions to explore as all cellar doors are centrally located and within close proximity to each other. As well as Cabernet Sauvignon, other varieties are offered, such as Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Malbec, Merlot and also some whites, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.
After a pleasant day of driving, talking, eating and drinking we will head back to our hotel for another delicious meal or maybe a simple pizza something to compliment the magnificent wines that we purchased today.
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