Introducing Limestone Coast
The Limestone Coast wine region was officially founded in 1996 and is a conglomerate of constituent regions that include wineries within Coonawarra, Mount Benson, Mount Gambier, Padthaway, Wrattonbully and Robe. Limestone Coast wineries are defined by these regions, in a zone that sits in the southeast of South Australia, fringed by the state of Victoria to the east, Lower Murray wine growing area to the north, and the coast of South Australia to the south.
Limestone Coast wineries are diverse in their wines, yet share some common ground in terms of geology, weather and viticulture across the collective 15,770 hectares of land under vine. Limestone Coast vignerons however, do make some quite individual wines, depending on their interpretation of grape varieties. Staple grape varieties include Shiraz, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, and are mostly produced in easy drinking, straight forward, affordable styles, with the notable exception of benchmark Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon, Mount Benson Cabernet and Chardonnay.
Where is Limestone Coast?
Limestone Coast is located in the south east of South Australia. Various parts of the Limestone Coast wine region are accessible by roadways from South Australia’s state capital of Adelaide. The region is also serviced by regularly scheduled airlines at Mount Gambier airport.
Limestone Coast Climate
Limestone Coast wineries enjoy a variety of climatic variances but share a similar range in terms of warm summers, cool winters, and during growing season hot days and moderately cool nights. The region is relatively large as a collective growing area, so climate does have a broad range of affects.
Unique Characteristics of Limestone Coast
Limestone Coast wine styles vary accordingly within regions. Coonawarra produce wines of elegance from Cabernet Sauvignon, while Padthaway produce more robust versions of Cabernet Sauvignon. Cooler parts of the Limestone Coast wine region allow for longer ripening periods to produce more medium weight red wines and leaner white wines. Warmer regions of the region produce fuller flavoured, riper, bolder whites and reds.
Black Wattle was one of the first vineyards established in Mount Benson
The Black Wattle range has been a Cellarmasters customer favourite for many years. Christine Ricketts, Cellar Director at Cellarmasters explains why. “Customers adore this range because the wines are very unique. Mount Benson is a one-of-a-kind wine region and the Black Wattle range is grown from a single vineyard to create beautiful cool climate wines.”
She adds, “Neil’s skill as a winemaker is evident in the consistency of his wines. The Black Wattle range is made with a view toward being ready to drink at release, yet have the ability to age well on cellaring, That’s why they are such crowd pleasers.”
Wines to try from Limestone Coast
Limestone Coast vignerons work with a large variety of grape varieties, but are best known for Limestone Coast Merlot, Limestone Coast Shiraz, Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon, and Wrattonbully Merlot. White wines are produced in Limestone Coast wine region in varying styles, but generally tend to fruity, easy to drink, drink-in-youth styles.
Limestone Coast vignerons producing Wrattonbully Merlot are arguably at the apex of all Merlot wine in Australia. Wrattonbully Merlot flavours tend to be in the plum and chocolate spectrum, and wines are generous, ripe and fuller figured. The texture is typically plush and soft. Wrattonbully Merlot is also often identified with its light, herbal inflection, scents of mint and eucalyptus.
Limestone Coast wine of the Coonawarra wine region is arguably considered the preeminent producer of Cabernet Sauvignon in Australia. Coonawarra red wines are generally picked at full ripeness to produce a medium to full body, distinguished by dark fruits, soft spice, firm tannin profile, and minty-herbal complexity. The Limestone Coast vignerons of Coonawarra on Terra Rossa soils are typically savoury and display some earth-like mineral characters. They are approachable in three to five years, but will also cellar for decades in Coonawarra best vintages.
Must See Limestone Coast Wineries
The Limestone Coast wine map shows many Limestone Coast wineries with cellar doors, and Limestone Coast vignerons include many luminaries of Australia’s fine wine scene. Limestone Coast wineries include:
- Black Wattle
- Geoff Hardy
Key Limestone Coast Wine Event
Taste the Limestone Coast Festival
Each year the festival attracts food and wine lovers from all over the Limestone Coast region. It runs over four days in February with a main day consisting of a massive "Sidewalk Sale" where local shops spread out onto footpaths attracting bargain hunters and street performers. Other activities include an outdoor family movie, a travel and general quiz night, a producers and makers market, live music and plenty of good food and delicious wine.
The future of Limestone Coast
Limestone Coast vignerons are well positioned to capitalise on a broad message about diversity of style within their various regions, captured in a greater region, namely Limestone Coast wine region. The diversity is key to appealing to a wide range of consumers, those seeking fine wine benchmarks, through to those opting for affordable yet generous young wines. The Limestone Coast wine region has massive potential to provide a great variety of drinking experiences.
- South Australia
- Cool Climate
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Limestone Coast