Coonawarra to herald in the 2023 vintage with a season opening ceremony

‘A smash and a squash’ – that’s how the Coonawarra Grape and Wine industry is set to herald in the 2023 Vintage (aka. V23), with community members and dignitaries to gather at the iconic Coonawarra Railway Siding for the first official Vintage Launch Ceremony in many years.

On Thursday 16th March, wine industry stakeholders and dignitaries from local and state government will ‘raise a glass’ to the upcoming Coonawarra grape harvest and bid farewell to the season past.

Featuring a traditional grape stomp and the christening of the new vintage with a bottle smash (similar to that of a ship setting sail on her maiden voyage), the Launch will bring the whole Coonawarra Community together. From the grape growers, cellar hands, vineyard workers and machine operators, to lab managers, winemakers and vignerons and everybody in between.

Coonawarra Vignerons Executive Officer, Hugh Koch, looks forward to celebrating this significant occasion, and emphasises the importance of Vintage, not only to the Coonawarra community, but for the entire district.

“Vintage in Coonawarra is more than when a wine’s grapes are harvested. It heralds the anniversary of a new year in Coonawarra, where we reflect and say goodbye to the previous season.”

“As a community, it is the commencement of the economic driver that sustains our economy, creates our jobs, gives us our services, drives our visitation, and continues to put us on the map as one of the most pre-eminent wine regions of the world” said Koch.

During the month of March, the region welcomes vintage workers from across Australia and the globe, to assist and experience grape picking, pressing, crushing and production in some of the nation’s most well-renowned wineries.

Coonawarra Vignerons President, Dan Redman, welcomes the return of an official vintage opening, and anticipates great support from the local community.

“A vintage brings the whole community together, working in unison to ensure that grapes are picked for optimum quality and that winemaking teams can produce wines of a world class standing.”

“The Vintage Launch event will allow us to reflect on our past years, the people that have laboured and led the development of Coonawarra and acknowledge our Coonawarra Vignerons Patrons. It will also highlight the importance of Coonawarra’s contribution to the Australian economy” said Redman.

With a nod to Coonawarra’s founding father John Riddoch (a Scotsman) , Coonawarra Vignerons Patron Doug Balnaves, will pipe in the event on his bagpipes.

Community members are invited to attend the V23 Launch ceremony, which will take place at the Coonawarra Railway Siding, Giles Road, at 10am on Thursday 16th March. The ceremony will be followed by a morning tea and a drop of sparkling wine at the Coonawarra Soldiers Memorial Hall.

Guests are requested to register their attendance via Humanitix –

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