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Unearthing Coonawarra Cabernet

A CONNECT Conversation
Thu, Mar 24, 2022 · 10:00 AM GMT
24 Mar 2022 Virtual event
Event finished
24 Mar 2022
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Virtual event
Event finished

Coonawarra is a small region with a big reputation. Famous for its vivid red soil and age-worthy red wines, Coonawarra makes some of the world’s purest Cabernet Sauvignon.

This narrow stretch of land on South Australia’s Limestone Coast, halfway between Adelaide and Melbourne, has 5,600 hectares of vineyards, with 62% devoted to Cabernet Sauvignon.

In a conversation hosted by Corrina Wright, Chief of Judges at The Limestone Coast Wine Show, four winemakers discuss what makes Coonawarra the perfect spot for producing elegant, complex Cabernet Sauvignon.

Hear the story of Coonawarra from its winemakers – a story that speaks of their world-renowned wines, natural landscape and terroir, vibrant and engaging community, and commitment to sustainable viticulture.

Find out how the region is influenced by the ocean, why its terra rossa soil is so valuable, and how the wines differ from the rest of Australia and the world.

Get to know the region’s community. It is as rich and varied as the stunning wines they produce. New generations of old winemaking families toil alongside an influx of fresh new talent to ensure the spirit of the Coonawarra wine region continues to thrive.

Join this Conversation to unearth Coonawarra and discover why Cabernet Sauvignon is the region’s undisputed star.

This tasting and panel discussion is one of many CONNECT Conversations to feature on Australian Wine CONNECT - a dynamic, virtual platform bringing the global wine community together to build connections with hundreds of Australian wineries for powerful commercial outcomes. It is free-to-use for all wine trade wishing to extend their knowledge of, and business reach with Australia.

Moderator and Speakers

Corrina Wright

Winemaker & Director at Oliver’s Taranga Vineyard

Owner and winemaker for family business Oliver’s Taranga Vineyards in McLaren Vale, the sixth generation to farm the same land. Corrina also owns craft beer business Swell Brewing Co and a vineyard with her husband. Corrina sits on a number of wine industry boards including the Australian Wine Research Institute and is very active in the wine judging, alternative varietal and diversity spaces. She was the ASVO Winemaker of the Year in 2019.

Bruce Gregory

Senior Winemaker, Majella Wines

Bruce's dedication to Coonawarra has seen him residing in the district for more than thirty years. For the past 22 years, he has been the winemaker for Majella Wines and has refined and highlighted the distinctive wine style that has made Majella Wines successful. Through Bruce's fastidious winemaking, Majella has had exceptional wine show success, winning local, national, and international trophies and awards, including the prestigious International Wine Challenge, winning the Best Australian Red Wine and the International Cabernet Sauvignon Trophy in 2008. Before moving to Coonawarra, Bruce spent his formative years in the Barossa Valley, commencing his career within the wine industry with stints at Peter Lehmann, Woodley and Penfolds Wines working in various capacities within those wineries, then advancing to Kies Estate as an Assistant Winemaker. Then, moving to Coonawarra to take up the winemaker position for Brands Laira Wines, Bruce met the Lynn brothers, owners of Majella, and was part of the first Majella vintage made in 1991 at the Laira winery.

Bruce is a keen supporter of the wine show system, is a founding committee member of the Limestone Coast Wine Show, and has judged at Barossa, Rutherglen, Limestone Coast & Stanthorpe Wine Shows.

Jacinta Jenkins

Senior Winemaker, Balnaves of Coonawarra

Having grown up in Coonawarra, Jacinta returned to the region in 2018 to work with mentor and Balnaves of Coonawarra winemaker of 25 years, Pete Bissell. Upon Pete’s retirement Jacinta stepped up to Senior Winemaker, and she is honoured to be involved in the continuing legacy established by the Balnaves family and Pete Bissell. The Balnaves Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ‘The Tally’ has been in the Outstanding tier of the Langton's Classification since 2010, and Balnaves of Coonawarra has been a James Halliday 5 star winery for 20 years.

Jacinta started this journey with a BSc in Biochemistry (Hons) at Monash University, before working vintages in Australia (Balnaves of Coonawarra, Wynns Coonawarra Estate, Sons of Eden) and internationally (Ch. St Michelle, Washington State; Craggy Range, Hawke’s Bay; Dr Loosen, Mosel Valley; Penner-Ash Wine Cellars, Oregon). To consolidate this experience Jacinta studied Viticulture and Oenology at the University of Adelaide, and was Assistant Winemaker at Pikes Wines in the Clare Valley for several years. Back in Coonawarra, Jacinta loves being involved in the tight-knit community in this beautiful region, and is excited to work with the Balnaves family to craft elegant expressions of their unique estate vineyards.

Bruce Redman

Senior Winemaker, Redman Wines

Bruce is a third-generation Coonawarra winemaker whose family has made wine in the region since 1908. He studied winemaking at Roseworthy Agricultural College, and in 1975 he graduated with a Roseworthy Diploma in Oenology. After completing vintages in Reynella, Barossa Valley and France, he returned to Coonawarra in 1981 as winemaker at Redman Wines, taking over from his father, Owen. Bruce has concentrated on producing handmade, high quality dry red wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz grapes. While Bruce still makes wine in the tradition of his father and grandfather, he has adapted some of the modern technology in viticulture and winemaking to refine the wines being produced today. Over his lifetime Bruce has watched the Coonawarra vineyard area expand from around 140 hectares to over 5,800 hectares. In his over 40 vintages in Coonawarra, he has experienced the great and the not-so-great seasons and which makes him well qualified to

discuss the region and its attributes.

Luke Tocaciu

Senior Winemaker, Patrick of Coonawarra

Luke took on the role of Director and Winemaker of Patrick of Coonawarra in 2013. He graduated with a degree in Oenology from the University of Adelaide and had already completed vintages in the Barossa, Clare, and Sonoma (USA) valley before returning to Coonawarra. He carries on the legacy and tradition of the family business. He has already made his mark on the company by securing several trophies and medals and plenty of praise from customers. As part of the emerging generation of 'Young Gun' winemakers, Luke has demonstrated an ability to combine traditional wisdom with new-age trends, leading to a growing wave of consumer demand.


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