Coonawarra wineries delve deep into cellars for annual event

TEN YEARS YOUNG: Katnook Estate cellar door assistant Naomi McShane with Sydney tourists Julie and Garry Chapple.

COONAWARRA wineries will delve into the depths of their cellars to reveal age-old treasures, offering visitors a rare opportunity to taste and buy aged, back vintage and special release wines during next month’s Cellar Dwellers event.

“As the name suggests, Cellar Dwellers is a term that reflects both the exceptional cellaring abilities of Coonawarra wine, as well as the sense of discovery that visitors to the region’s cellar doors will experience,” Coonawarra Vignerons events and marketing officer Heidi Eldridge said.

“It’s a very special time of the year when Coonawarra winery staff bring out truly outstanding wines to provide the public with memorable tasting experiences that only occur in July.”

Coonawarra Vignerons executive officer Olivia Nunn moved to the wine region early last year and experienced Cellar Dwellers for the first time.

“Having experienced my first Cellar Dwellers last year, I was surprised by the range of events from a cellar door tasting to a casual winery lunch, a fine dining experience, or a fun night out with friends entertained with live music and of course wine,” Ms Nunn said.

“All the events on offer were and continue to be extremely affordable, enabling visitors and locals to embrace Cellar Dwellers and visit Coonawarra.”

This year’s program will again see a range of cellar door tastings and special food and wine events on offer with 22 wineries participating to showcase the breadth and depth of Coonawarra wines and the area’s emerging food destination credentials.

Ms Eldridge said the 2018 Cellar Dwellers program was packed with over 30 unique events, including comparative wine tastings over a 10 to 35 year period, museum release wines from very old or selected vineyards, special food and wine dinners prepared by highly acclaimed local chefs and even the chance to savour a rare 50-year-old tawny port.

“One of the feature nights is Shiraz Jazz with Shirazz – one of Melbourne’s premier jazz bands – returning for the third consecutive year and we are looking forward to a fantastic night,” Ms Eldridge said.

July will be an opportunity for visitors to taste Coonawarra wine, renowned for its outstanding quality, flavour and cellaring abilities.

“We’re also continuing with a walking trail passport that offers one lucky winner the chance to win a VIP pass for two to one of the cities on our National Wine Tasting Roadshow, plus a mixed half dozen of Coonawarra wines, simply by visiting five participating wineries,” Ms Eldridge said.

The program can be viewed at

For more information, see our two-page special feature in today’s edition.