Explore the culture of Coonawarra

By Halliday Promotion

15 Oct, 2019

South Australia’s Coonawarra is a fascinating winemaking landscape. Famed for its bold, complex red wines, the region’s history is as rich as the varietals it produces. We hear the stories behind three Coonawarra cellar doors.

  • Zema Estate


  • In 1982, Demetrio and Francesca Zema, with sons Matt and Nick, made their first Coonawarra shiraz in a tin shed using a second-hand milk tanker as the fermenter. These days, their process is a little bit more sophisticated, and over four decades, the winery has developed a reputation for producing consistently high-quality Coonawarra cabernet sauvignon and shiraz. “Zema Estate is a true Coonawarra family winery, forged in Australia but based on the undeniable passions and traditions of its Italian heritage,” says owner Nick Zema.

    coonawarra-qa-zema A family affair: Zema Estate’s cellar door is perfect for tasting and shopping while enjoying the view over the vineyards. Sample the current release wines and browse a range of gourmet food and gifts – including Mrs Zema’s homemade chilli paste and olive oil.

    Find out more | 14944 Riddoch Hwy, Coonawarra | (08) 8736 3219


  • Katnook Estate


  • You can trace Coonawarra’s wine-growing history back to the Katnook Estate vineyard. The winery and its surrounding vines began life as a base for Coonawarra winemaking pioneer John Riddoch and his flourishing fruit colony. Today, Katnook Estate’s cellar door can be found in the restored woolshed, built by John in the late 1800s. This historic structure is a picturesque setting to enjoy the winery’s highly regarded range of wines while being reminded of their unique backstory.

    coonawarra-qa-katnook Take a closer look: Peer into the terra rossa pit while learning about these famous red soils and how they present in the bottle. Then cosy up by the fire with a cheese board and a glass of red wine.

    Find out more | 15310 Riddoch Hwy, Coonawarra | (08) 8737 0300


  • Rymill Coonawarra

  • Rymill’s viticultural journey dates back to 1891 with the Riddoch family. The family farm was transformed into a winery in the 1990s by Peter Riddoch, great-grandson of John Riddoch, with innovative and contemporary winemaking in mind. These days, Rymill is a unique juxtaposition of rich history and modern, sustainable practices. The vineyard hosts a healthy and diverse ecosystem, promoted by plant and animal biodiversity, which reduces the need for synthetic fertilisers and herbicides.

    coonawarra-qa-rymill Get experimental: Explore Rymill’s three-level cellar door and try their exclusive experimental collection, “The Alternates”. This collection is the result of viticultural trials and exploring avant-garde, low-impact winemaking techniques.

    Find out more | 110 Clayfield Rd, Glenroy | (08) 8736 5001

    Learn more about Coonawarra in our essential guide

    *This article was produced by Halliday Wine Companion in partnership with the featured wineries.