Prominent wine professionals such as Wolf Blass damned this region as a place that could never produce decent wine, and the original John Riddoch wine estate was nearly sold to the Department of Forestry and Lands (thankfully, David Wynn purchased the property and it is now Wynns Coonawarra). In the 1950s, large wine companies such as Penfolds and Yalumba finally began recognising the depth of the region’s reds, and opinions began to change. Coonawarra’s famed terra rossa (red earth) combined with the region’s particular climate is now known to create some of the best cabernet sauvignon in the country, as well as excellent shiraz, merlot, riesling and chardonnay. Some of the many excellent wineries to visit are Balnaves of Coonawarra (Main Rd, Coonawarra, (08) 8737 2946), Brand’s of Coonawarra (Riddoch Hwy, Coonawarra, (08) 8736 3260), Majella (Lynn Rd, Coonawarra, (08) 8736 3055) and Zema Estate (Riddoch Hwy, Coonawarra, (08) 8736 3219).

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