It’s been a long time coming, but with borders re-opened and interstate travel returning to what it was before the pandemic, Coonawarra’s wineries were back jet setting across the country this August to bring wine lovers of Australia the Coonawarra Cellar Door in the City national tour for the first time in 2 years.
Held across five capital cities, the national tour can be hailed a great success following sold-out events across the country. The series of tasting events presented in the last two weeks of August included Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and finally Perth which wrapped up the roadshow event series on Sunday afternoon.
Up to 26 wineries participated in the events which provides Coonawarra’s wineries the opportunity to showcase their wines to a national audience of consumers and trade alongside their counterparts. Ticket holders were presented with the opportunity, not only to taste a large assortment of Coonawarra wines, but to meet and chat to the winemakers and faces behind each label.
Following the cancellation of the events in 2020 due to covid, and a modified single showcase in Adelaide in 2021, Coonawarra Vignerons members were thrilled to see the return of the event this year.
Coonawarra Vignerons Events and Marketing Officer, Heidi Guyett said “After a 2-year hiatus our members couldn’t have been more excited to get back on the road and showcase their wines to the country. And it seems that the public were just as excited, with high consumer demand leading to waitlists for tickets to our sold out events”.
Executive Officer of the Coonawarra Vignerons, Ockert Le Roux attended each of the 5 events and was thrilled to see the events draw large crowds of loyal and upcoming Coonawarra wine enthusiasts.
“Sydney was by far the most engaged audience with just shy of 450 ticket holders flocking to the event at the Sydney Town Hall. Over 300 wine enthusiasts attended events in Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide, where attendees learned more about the Coonawarra Wine Region and our world-class wines”, Mr Le Roux said.
“As far as I am aware Coonawarra is the only wine region in Australia that hosts a Wine Tasting Event on this scale” he commented. The national wine tasting event attracted over 1,600 wine enthusiasts across the 5 major cities and involved over 50 winery staff at each event, consisting of a mix of winemakers, cellar door staff, boutique winery owners and Coonawarra Vignerons.
“What makes the event so much more unique is that it is not only cellar door staff that attend the tasting, but in most instances, the owners and/or winemakers in the room. Consumers and wine trade can therefore interact at a more intimate level to ask questions about our wines and the technical aspects of the wine-making process and cellaring etc. The event is well supported by our members who range from boutique family-owned operations right up to internationally renowned corporate brands, such as Wynns Coonawarra, Lindeman’s Coonawarra and Katnook Estate,” Mr Le Roux added.
Between 100 and 185 wines were showcased at the varying events with a great range of varieties and styles up for tasting. Coonawarra is famously known for producing predominately red varietals, which was evident in the wine list with 80% of wine poured being reds – from Cabernet Sauvignon to Shiraz, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Red Blends and even Sparkling Reds.
“But Coonawarra’s white varieties are not to be underestimated”, Mr Le Roux said. Sparkling Whites, Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and even Rosé were included during Roadshow. “There are fantastic gems to be found amongst Coonawarra’s white wines. The cool climatic conditions of the region make for outstanding white wines.”
The wines presented at this years Cellar Door in the City events featured recent releases in the 2018-2021 vintage range, with wineries encourage to bring along a mystery bottle that is usually a back vintage or museum wine to demonstrate the age-ability of Coonawarra’s reds.
Coonawarra will be on the road again in August 2023, with preparations underway to ensure that the event continues to provide the ultimate tasting experience. The roadshow committee is now reviewing our strategy to build on this year’s success.