CoonawarraThe first vines were planted in Coonawarra by John Riddoch in 1890, however it was not until the renewed interest in table wine production in the 1950's that Coonawarra was brought into the limelight. Located almost 380 km southeast of Adelaide, Coonawarra is today one of the most famous red wine regions in Australia. Its weathered limestone terra rossa soils, avaibility of water and relatively cool maritime climate make it a unique viticultural region. Extremely flat and unprotected, Coonawarra is exposed both to the swinging influences of the cool Great Southern Ocean and hot, dry northerly winds. Spring frosts also pose a major threat with the potential to wipe out entire crops. Mechanical harvesting is widely employed in the region although smaller producers prefer to tend their vines by hand. Coonawarra is best known for classically-styled Cabernet Sauvignon, although in good years, Shiraz from the region is also very compelling.
Samuel Smith established Yalumba in 1849 and 165 years later descendant Robert Hill Smith now presides over Australia's oldest family owned wine company. Yalumba owns vineyards and sources fruit primarily in the Barossa and Coonawarra. Robert Hill-Smith manages to combine conservatism and tradition with up-to-date winemaking technology and thinking. Yalumba produces a considerable number of different wines across the price-point spectrum from a multitude of varieties, all with a focus on quality, varietal and regional expression. The strong winemaking team is headed up by Louisa Rose, a brilliantly intuitive winemaker whose white wines are some of the best in the country.