Wineries dust off top drops for Cellar Dwellers

PROGRAM LAUNCHED: Coonawarra Vignerons executive officer Hugh Koch and events and marketing officer Heidi Guyett toast the launch of the 2023 Cellar Dwellers Program at Wynns Coonawarra Estate.

As the region settles into the cooler months, Coonawarra will be warming up for the 19th annual Cellar Dwellers Celebrations.

Throughout the month of July, wine lovers will have the opportunity to taste Coonawarra’s exceptional aged wines, including back vintage, special release, and rare museum wines.

The 2023 program was officially launched last week at Wynns Coonawarra Estate, which has more than 40 events and tasting experiences on offer.

The program artwork has received a makeover, with a bottle of Coonawarra back vintage release wine in front of an open fire, which captures the essence of Coonawarra Cellar Dwellers.

Coonawarra Vignerons events and marketing officer Heidi Guyett is excited for Cellar Dwellers to begin.

“I think we have got a wonderful program that has come together this year with some really diverse events from lunches and dinners, tastings, some hands-on activities at the wineries,” Ms Guyett said.

“Our members have done a really good job in particular with collaborating either together or with other businesses or producers, which we really encourage.

“It provides an opportunity to showcase not only what we do well here in Coonawarra, which is wine, but also the produce which we have access to here in the Limestone Coast, which puts us on a really good platform of premium offerings.

“In hearing what is on offer around the region, it really emphasises the fact that Coonawarra is the place to be during July with the food and wine and warm offerings and that extra element of that back-vintage release and museum tastings which would not otherwise be available during the year.”

Coonawarra Vignerons executive officer Hugh Koch said Cellar Dwellers was a great opportunity for cellar doors to showcase the superior ageing ability of Coonawarra wines.

“The thing about a Coonawarra wine is it just ages so well, and even after 10 years you will still see some very fresh flavours,” he said.

“The older wines just show how good, especially Coonawarra Cabernet is, in its ageing, and it shows the different depths of the primary, the secondary and the tertiary flavours, which occur in the older wines.

“Cabernet is certainly part of it, but seeing what some of our aged whites are like as well, so some of the rieslings and some of the chardonnays also age particularly well also.

“Some of those more buttery and wooded characters that you get in the older chardonnays, they just start to come through, that is really classic of Coonawarra.

“In the shirazes for instance, there is such a fine bone to the structure unlike some of the other shirazes, the bigger shirazes you see around Australia, in Coonawarra those older ones still have the hints of the white pepper on the nose even 10 years down the track.

“That is just a real hallmark of Coonawarra shiraz.”

People can cosy up in cellar doors, enjoy premium wines in one of the top wine producing regions in the world and soak up the warmth of Coonawarra hospitality.

“You can come along in July when it is raining outside, our cellar doors have got magnificent spaces,” Mr Koch said.

“You will often find that winemakers will be within the cellar doors too talking to customers through that time and then pairing up with some of the foods and some of the other opportunities which are great for winter.”

The Coonawarra Combined Wineries Back Vintage Tasting Showcase is a highlight of the program, where 15 wineries will come together at Hollick Estates.

Wine enthusiasts will discover how the characteristics of red and white wine varieties change and develop over time and transport their tastebuds back to previous vintages.

“For those who love their wines, it is a good chance to be able to dissect the nuances of it,” Mr Koch said.

Ms Guyett encouraged people to view the program, and, if they were not visiting Coonawarra, to attend events being offered in Mount Gambier and surrounds.

“But also, pick up a bottle of Coonawarra wine and settle in by the fire or the bonfire, which us country folk do really well and enjoy,” she said.

Article Credit: SE VOICE, Ebony Raymond – 1st July 2023

Wineries dust off top drops for Cellar Dwellers


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