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About Us2018-12-14T07:02:00+00:00

WELCOME

TO KOONOWLA

Koonowla is one of the Clare Valley’s most iconic and picturesque properties with beautiful historic stone buildings and rolling broad acre hills. Located just east of Auburn in the Clare Valley of South Australia, the property was first planted with vines in the 1890s. By the early 1900’s Koonowla was producing from its own winery and cellars 250,000 litres of wine annually before a disastrous fire in 1926 burnt the winery and reduced the vineyard size, and with changing times saw land use convert mostly to grain and wool production.

In 1985 a vineyard replanting program was started and by 2001 plantings had grown to 240 acres. Rationalization some years later saw Koonowla’s vineyard area reduce to 120 acres. Today the Koonowla vineyard comprises blocks of meticulously selected terroir most suited to producing the highest quality classic Clare Valley varietals of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Riesling, as well as a small block of both Merlot and Semillon. Koonowla is a leader in the field of high-quality sustainable viticulture.

HIGH QUALITY WINE

AFFORDABLE VALUE

Koonowla firmly believe their wines and fruit must produce a distinct regional and varietal character and that brands such as Koonowla can always have a strong presence on retail shelves and restaurant lists around Australia and overseas by delivering consistent and high quality wines at affordable value.

The Koonowla winemakers, David O’Leary and Nick Walker share with Andrew Michael, the owner of Koonowla, a passion for producing high quality Estate grown regional wines. The wine styles being pursued by Koonowla and their team are a blend of unashamed Clare tradition and modern wine making practices.

The vineyards

The 120 acre Koonowla vineyards are in the geographical region of the Clare Valley, lying Latitude 1380 43’ 02.01” East and Longitude 340 03’ 15.28” South, at approximately 300 metres above sea level.

The climate is described as Mediterranean with four distinct seasons, Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring and an annual rainfall of 21 inches (535mm) falling mainly between May and November. The winter temperatures can drop to 0 degrees C on the low alluvial flats and in summer will sometimes rise up to 40 degrees C but often with cool nights and cooling Valley breezes slowing the ripening fruit, giving the fruit its distinctive Clare Valley flavour profile.

The vineyards are planted on undulating hillsides with terra-rossa soils in 19 different blocks with interconnecting and surrounding compacted roads for improved management and fire protection.

Blocks subject to frost have wind-fans installed which are automatically controlled by temperature sensors ensuring Koonowla has frost protection to provide consistency of fruit yield and quality.

Koonowla is fortunate to have a significant aquifer of underground water that it uses to supplement a catchment dam collecting runoff from its higher grazing country. The Vineyard is equipped with drip irrigation using computer controlled systems to ensure that no water is wasted and is targeted to the vine only. We only irrigate to maintain canopy health and to protect the fruit from sunburn and aid ripening.

The principal Clones used are:

• Cabernet Sauvignon 125, CW44, LC10, LC14 and LYNNS
• Shiraz 1654, BVRC12, NSW15
• Riesling 140, D2V2

Koonowla practices sustainable agricultural practices and where possible uses straw and composted mulch to help retain moisture and add nutrients and build organic carbon into the soils.

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