South Australia - Limestone Coast Zone - Coonawarra

3 important questions on South Australia - Limestone Coast Zone - Coonawarra

What is the climate in Coonawarra, to which region in Europe can it be compaired?

  • Moderate ocean influenced climate similar to Bordeaux France but slightly warmer and drier in the growing season.
  • the area is so flat (110km inland) that sea breezes reach that far.
  • Rainfall is low
  • Spring frost can be a hazard (sprinklers in place)
  • Irrigation is widely used - underground  aquifers.

Coonawarra best wines come from a specific soil.  Which soil is this? What are the characteristics of this soil.

  • Terra Rossa soil - red soil; a free-draining iron rich loam over a hard limestone base.
  • 50cm in depth
  • Roots may struggle to access water
  • Slightly alkaline - can restrict uptake of nutrients.
  • Benefits: the above restricts vigour, giving lower yields of concentrated grapes.
  • Under the hard limestone is a softer layer, that retains water.
  • GI covers almost 5000ha including limestone and brown/black clay soils

Coonawarra is producing some of Australia's finest red wines. From which grapes and which styles are produced?

  • Cabernet Sauvignon, over half of the plantings; m/f bodied, m/h alcohol, high tannins, dark fruit with mint and eucalyptus. Matured in oak for spice notes.
  • Shiraz, lighter bodied than Barossa Shiraz, concentrated blackberry, herbal, minty, sometimes blended with Cab. Sav.

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