News & Events

Coonawarra Cellar Dwellers

Event  // 

Coonawarra wineries will dig out some treasures from their cellars to offer visitors a rare opportunity to taste and buy aged wine during the month of July.

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Coonawarra Wine Tasting Roadshow

Event  // 

From the peaceful vineyards of Coonawarra, to the energetic hubs of Australian cities, the Coonawarra Wine Tasting Roadshow travels to six capital cities during the month of August. Meet the owners, winemakers, and vignerons from up to 30 wineries, and taste over 100 wines.

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Coonawarra Cabernet Celebrations

Event  // 

We thought it was time for a change, so we’re expanding the very popular Cabernet Celebrations weekend to embrace the month of October. That means that there will be more choices and more weekend opportunities to really savour the region’s wines, hospitality and sense of community.  We still plan to have the iconic events: the Masterclass, and the Retrospective Wine Tasting, but there will be more dinners, breakfasts and lunches to help showcase the regions burgeoning food credentials, and music talent.

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Penola Coonawarra Arts Festival

Event  // 

Celebrate our region’s rich history and artistic talents over four days with working artists, performances, exhibitions, workshops, walking tours, fabulous food and fine wine.  The Penola Coonawarra Arts Festival is one of regional Australia’s leading arts festivals and it celebrates its 26th anniversary in 2017. For more details visit www.artsfestival.com.au

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‘Blue Feet’ Exhibition, Book Reading & Drawing Demonstration

Event  // 

As part of the Penola Coonawarra Arts Festival, Balnaves will be hosting ‘Blue Feet’ an exhibition of new work by children’s book illustrator and artist, Marsha Majers.

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5 Star Winery from James Halliday for the 17th Consecutive Year

Reviews  // 

We are very pleased to be awarded 5 RED STARS from James Hallidays’ Wine Companion 2018 for the 17th consecutive year as well as all wines received 94 points or above! For the full tasting notes and results click here.

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2017 Vintage produces the goods

Vintage Overview  // 

Big winter rains 890mm (instead of 566mm average) flushed the landscape and recharged the aquifers prior to budburst. This has been the wettest winter since 1989 according the S.E. drainage board, setting the vines up really well for summer.

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2016 Vintage comes to an end

Vintage Overview  // 

Overall the vintage is very solid with great colour, good fruit intensity and ripeness. The fruit was clean and hung well compensating for the compression of vintage. Whites came with good natural acidities this year and show a lot of freshness and tang, with fine fruit flavours.

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2015 Vintage in Review

Vintage Overview  // 

Vintage 2015 started with good rain falls in winter up until August, but subsequently we experienced dry conditions all through spring and early summer. A big dump of rain fell in January freshening up the vines after the long dry season, but this was the only significant rain of the growing season.

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2014

Vintage Overview  // 

Vintage 2014 started with good winter rains and a full recharge of the aquifers and complete soil flushing, setting the vines up for a good start to the season. However weather remained cool during the start of the season and was cold during flowerings, which lead to a reduced set and spread set.

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2013

Vintage Overview  // 

Pre-season saw reasonable winter rains and a cooler start to the year, with phenology on long term averages. Particularly cool nights were experienced leading up to fruit set.

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2012

Vintage Overview  // 

Very good winter rains set up an excellent start to the season, but poor weather during flowering and the hangover from 2011 poor weather during bud initiation affected set reducing yields down to 0.8-1.8t/acre particularly in Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.

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2011

Vintage Overview  // 

Good winter rainfalls in winter 2010, followed on from good winter rains in 2009, recharging the aquifers. This became somewhat of too much of a good thing when rain continued in regular intervals through summer and into autumn 2011.

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2010

Vintage Overview  // 

Excellent winter rain in 2009 set the scene for a very good 2010 vintage. While the total amount of rain that fell was on long term average, it fell in solid blocks, filling the swamps in the region and percolating through into the underground aquifer.

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2009

Vintage Overview  // 

Winter rains were again well below average for the winter of 2008 leading up to vintage 2009. Crops were slightly below average and bud burst again very early 2-3 weeks ahead of average timing.

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2008

Vintage Overview  // 

We received a very dry winter again without normal winter rains, however we did get 200mm of late winter rain preceding budburst. Spring brought several frosts, which caused damage in a small area, but the frosts were restricted to low lying areas

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2007

Vintage Overview  // 

2007 was a very dry winter without normal winter rains preceded budburst. Spring brought a series of frosts (approx 35), with 4 very severe frost events during September, which burnt 70% of Coonawarra vineyard, leaving 20% untouched (which was under frost protection), and approximately 10% partially frosted.

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2006

Vintage Overview  // 

2006 was very early with reds being harvested in March and in some cases wineries finishing vintage in March.

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2005

Vintage Overview  // 

Early year where baumes were quite high when tannins and flavours were eventually ripe. A lot of shrivelled fruit. However good flavours and tannin.

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2004

Vintage Overview  // 

Extremely late vintage where tannin ripeness was delayed, wines are middle weight but with good fruit and tannin structure similar to 1994 in many ways. Solid vintage.

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2003

Vintage Overview  // 

Early dry vintage with light crops due to poor set in 2002. Wines had a lot of water stress and ripened early due to light crops. Wines are solid but more earthy and complex flavours, rather than fruity. No Balnaves reds released.

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2002

Vintage Overview  // 

Poor set lowest yields on record combined with a very late year. Wines are unusual in structure. The Cabs retain some leafy notes, while Shiraz was stronger. No Tally made in 2002.

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2001

Vintage Overview  // 

Cool classic year crops were thinned to get balance but nice season and very good wines good depth of fruit and tannins. Strong year at the top end. Tally made.

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2000

Vintage Overview  // 

Very hot vintage, low yields due to poor set, super ripe flavours in wines and soft tannins. Drinking well early but appear to be developing well. Tally made.

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1999

Vintage Overview  // 

Excellent classic year similar to the 2001 but with stronger tannin structure. Deep fruited wines that are going well. While looking dark and closed should continue to age well. No Tally made.

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1998

Vintage Overview  // 

Hot year with big tannins and big baumes. Similar year to 1990, very ripe and very big wines with much riper flavour profile than usual for Coonawarra. Appearing to develop faster than 1997 or 1999.

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1997

Vintage Overview  // 

Cool year with late ripening and rain during harvest which caused some problems. Wines show typical cool vintage aromas of black olive and leaf but are aging well and look better with time.

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1996

Vintage Overview  // 

Cooler year again with rain during vintage causing earlier picking than desirable. Still wines are solid and aging well, drinking well now and probably won’t improve.

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1995

Vintage Overview  // 

Most difficult vintage of the 1990’s, with early break rain and disease pressure. Limited wines released but still holding on.

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1994

Vintage Overview  // 

Cool season later ripening but with good fruit, and tannins. Same cooler season flavours and fruit starting to fade in these wines now.

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1993

Vintage Overview  // 

Dry season but similar to 2003 Produced austere wines with early complex flavours and harder tannin structures, most are passed now.

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1992

Vintage Overview  // 

Limited wines made due to early break and rain during vintage. Most are passed their best.

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1991

Vintage Overview  // 

Great year strong wines, rich flavours and tannins. Now are mature wines from an excellent vintage and are complex and holding on. Try and drink up.

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1990

Vintage Overview  // 

Hot year with rich opulent wines still holding on and looking good as old wines. Time to drink these wines, now.

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