Coonawarra Wine Region launches Online Education Program

An online education program is set to strengthen the knowledge of Coonawarra’s wine tourism employees in a bid to enhance the visitor experience to the region.

The Coonawarra Stewardship Program was designed by the Coonawarra Vignerons in response to a growing demand by the region’s wine industry for a robust, uniform approach to training to empower tourism operators, cellar door and restaurant staff.

Through a series of online modules, participants will discover what makes Coonawarra and its wine unique, in turn becoming a Steward for the Coonawarra Wine Region.


According to Dan Redman, President Coonawarra Grape and Wine Inc, the program is an important step in ensuring consistent messaging from the region is shared with visitors.

“The seven modules cover the essential facts about our region and its wines in a simple, easy to understand format,” he said.

“On completion of the program participants will have the confidence to share what’s special about Coonawarra and its wines, knowing they’ve got the story right,” Redman commented.

Hon Clare Scriven MLC, Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development praised the development of the Coonawarra Stewardship Program citing the importance of attracting and retaining staff through robust training opportunities.

“I commend Coonawarra Grape and Wine Inc for developing the Coonawarra Stewardship Program to meet the growing need for upskilling current and new staff in the wine industry.”

Coonawarra Vignerons Member Emma Bowen (Bowen Estate) and Katie Moorhouse (Paperweight Communication) played key roles in bringing the Coonawarra Stewardship Program to fruition.

“We know how important the wine industry is to SA, and through this modern approach to training, customer service staff will improve their business knowledge as well as capacity and capability. Helping ensuring Coonawarra is well placed to realise tangible, positive benefits for the visitor, and ultimately profitability to the region” she said.

Hugh Koch, Coonawarra Vignerons Executive Officer, was involved in the development of the program and recognised its potential to appear to a wider audience as an educational tool beyond Coonawarra industry personal for which it was intended.

“In developing the program, it became obvious that this project had greater potential for external users outside of our local wine community, with the opportunity for passionate wine enthusiasts to immerse themselves in the special story of Coonawarra from anywhere across the globe”.

“We realised that we were creating more than just an orientation piece for cellar door and tourism staff of the region, we were creating a program that created concierges, ambassadors and custodians for the Coonawarra story. It seemed appropriate, after long consideration, that we were creating stewards for Coonawarra.”

“Stewardship is the conducting, supervising, or managing of something. especially : the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care, and so the Coonawarra Stewardship Program was born.”

“We extend an open invitation to wine lovers to refresh and reflect on their knowledge of the region, and give the program a go,” encouraged Koch.

Long time Coonawarra supporter Craig Phillips of Adelaide was quick to jump aboard the program to challenging his knowledge of Coonawarra, becoming the first wine enthusiast to receive a certificate of completion.

“My association with Coonawarra is just entering its 5th decade, clearly I have an affinity and affection or the region, so I was keen to test my knowledge.”

“This (Coonawarra Stewardship Program) is a great initiative, it offers a wealth of information to those new to the region and for those like me who have visited many times a chance to know more about a fabulous wine district. I certainly look forward to future installments about the history of the wineries and of course its people!” said Mr Phillips.

The program is available to wine tourism operators, cellar door staff, and wine enthusiasts through a login system on the Coonawarra Vignerons website. Registration is FREE, and participants can go at their own pace.

To learn more about the program and to register go to

Development and delivery of this program and/or activity is one part of the South Australian Wine Industry Development Program as administered by the South Australian Wine Industry Association and is only possible from the support and funding provided by the South Australian Government through The Department of Primary Industries and Regions.

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