The Poonawatta story is complex, stemming from 0.8ha of shiraz planted in 1880. When Andrew Holt’s parents purchased the Poonawatta property, the vineyard had suffered decades of neglect, and the slow process of restoration began. While that was underway, the strongest canes available from the winter pruning of the 1880 block were slowly and progressively dug into the stony soil of the site. It took seven years to establish the 0.8ha Cuttings Block, and the yield is even lower than that of the 1880 Block. Second label, Monties Block, sits underneath The Cuttings (from the ‘new’ vines) and at the top is The 1880. The Riesling is produced from a single vineyard of 2ha hand-planted by the Holt family in the 1970s. Exports to Canada, France, Denmark and Taiwan.
Like many boutique producers, the Poonawatta brand has been built on the foundation of heritage, history and family. With six-generations spanning 161 years of Eden Valley farming and viticulture, the centrepiece of the Poonawatta crown is the original Shiraz vineyard, planted in 1880.
The estate range includes the Cuttings Shiraz, produced from a vineyard established in 1982 from cuttings taken from the original 1880 vines, and the wonderful Eden Riesling, a single vineyard of two hectares, hand planted by the Holt family in 1972.
The Poonawatta property took its name from the Peramangk Indigenous Australians; Poona meaning ‘good / fertile’ and Watta meaning ‘land / country’ – fitting descriptions for this beautiful part of Eden Valley.
In addition to the Estate wines, selected parcels from neighbouring vineyards are sourced for the Regional Series, a collection a blends and single vineyard wines from some special vineyards across the four corners of Eden Valley.
The 1880 Shiraz has been recognised as meeting the standards of excellence required to hold the Barossa Trust Mark. This is a mark of aspirational standard set by the Barossa region that provides a guarantee of assurance and quality, and is founded on five value pillars: Origin | Integrity | Quality | Environment | Community
Poonawatta represents a passion for small volumes of hand crafted wines, nurtured from soil to vine to bottle, communicating a story that tells of the place that the vines are grown and the people who make it happen.
While Poonawatta’s boutique size doesn’t support a full-time cellar door, tastings are regularly held around the homestead table, or amongst the vines, and appointments can be made via email or phone. You will be greeted by the fur hosts, Chelsea and Oscar, who will bark feverishly until the car door opens, at which point they will become your best friends.