Did you know that Coonawarra is world-famous for Cabernet?

Published by Tamara Harrison - 30th Aug 2019

As it is International Cabernet Day, winemaker Luke Tocaciu from LTD Wines would like to take the opportunity to explain some of the reasons why Coonawarra is world-famous for Cabernet. Take it away Luke…

It all starts in the soil…
The pictures here show the Terra Rossa, meaning red soil, just outside our cellar door in Coonawarra. The soil is a shallow layer of red clay loam over a limestone base. This rare soil is only a strip about 2km wide and 20km long, running north-south through the middle of Coonawarra. This is commonly referred to as the cigar strip due to its shape. 

This soil is perfect for growing Cabernet. 
The roots of the vine get all of their energy from the thin layer with only a few that can penetrate the tough limestone base (as seen in the 150-year-old tree at cellar door). The limestone is very free draining which means that the top layer doesn’t become too waterlogged when it rains. All of this causes the vine to struggle a little bit. When the vine is struggling a bit, it puts all its energy into producing fantastic quality fruit. 

This, coupled with our cool climate means that the grapes hang on the vine a long time and the flavours develop slowly. This created the intense flavour and tannin structure that has made Coonawarra famous.

If you want to taste what it’s all about, my 2015 Coonawarra Cabernet is in store now. With a few years of age, it is a great example of what Coonawarra is all about.

Cheers to Cabernet!

Luke Tocaciu


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