Shiraz, Coonawarra

Shiraz is a red grape variety. It is the most widely planted variety in Australia and helped put it on the wine map. It is an adaptable grape that has distinctly regional characteristics from elegant, peppery cool climate styles to sweet and chocolatey (McLaren Vale), muscular, and ripe-fruited (Barossa), to savoury and rich (Hunter Valley). Shiraz was one of the first vine varieties to arrive in Australia in 1832 and is grown in most regions. However, its home is in the Barossa Valley where old vines date back to the 1860s.

The classic, truly Australian blend is Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, but it is also blended with Grenache and Mourvedre (GSM) in warmer climates. In recent years it is increasingly being blended with Viognier to create the Shiraz/Viognier blend.

Shiraz's home is in the Northern Rhône's, Hermitage, Cote Rôtie and Cornas, in France. It is now also grown extensively in the Southern Rhône where it is blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre to produce the great red wines of Châteauneuf du Pape and Gigondas amongst others.
Located some 380km south of Adelaide, Coonawarra in is in the Limestone Coast region of South Australia and is renowned for producing some of Australia's finest Cabernet Sauvignons on the famed 'Terra Rossa' soils. The region has a long history, with the first vines planted by John Riddoch back in 1890.

The Coonawarra subregion is a slim 2km by 5km strip along the coastline of South Australia, on a shallow limestone ridge over bright red 'terra rossa' soils. Located just 60km from the sea, the region is exposed to a moderate maritime climate, not unlike that of Bordeaux, so it's no surprise that Cabernet thrives.

Cabernet Sauvignon is the king of the region producing rich full-bodied wines packed full of blackcurrant and plummy fruit and the structure for long-term cellaring. Not to be forgotten, the region has the limestone soils suitable for Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling also.
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  1. Wynns 'Michael' Shiraz 1997
    Wynns Coonawarra Estate Michael Shiraz has established a reputation as the benchmark for Coonawarra Shiraz. It is produced from only the top 1% of Shiraz grapes available to Wynns each year. Even then it is only produced if the fruit meets ... Learn More
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    James Halliday's Wine Companion
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