Coonawarra Wineries with Cellar Doors

10 Best Coonawarra Wineries with Cellar Doors

In Australia, Food & Drink by Erik @ DIY Travel HQLeave a Comment

The Coonawarra is home to over 30 wineries so we’ve narrowed the list down to the 10 best Coonawarra wineries with cellar doors for an excellent visit. Stop by and find out how the terra rossa creates the best Cabernet Sauvignon in Australia.

Wine tasting should be on every Australia bucket list and the Coonawarra is one of the top places to check this off!

The Coonawarra region is a narrow strip of land in South Australia highlighted by terra rossa, also known as red earth. The red soil is actually a layer of weathered limestone clay receiving its color by iron oxide. This free draining soil combined with the limestone groundwater create ideal conditions for Cabernet Sauvignon.

John Riddoch was the first to create a winery on the notable terra rossa in 1861. Although he had limited success due to market conditions, the region would start to flourish in 1951 when Wynns Coonawarra Estate took over the same land. Property was soon highly prized with wineries occupying all the terra rossa.

If you can’t find someone to be a designated driver, consider booking a tour with Leroy’s Coonawarra Wine Experience Tour.

Best Coonawarra Wineries

Below are the 10 best Coonawarra wineries with cellar doors to excite your taste buds!

10. Penley Estate

Penley Estate is the combination of two well-known wine-making families, Penfold and Tolley. To date, the merger of families has kept a simple character to Penley Estate. Wine is produced for everyone to enjoy, and their lines embody this whimsical nature. Make sure you try the blends.

  • Penley Estate Wines to Taste:
    • At Your Whimsy!
  • Penley Estate Cellar Door Hours: Daily 10 am to 4 pm
  • Address: McLeans Road, Coonawarra SA 5263
Best Coonawarra Wineries
Penley Estate. Credit: Penley Estate

9. Brand’s Laira

Brand’s Laira produces exceptional wines with some of the oldest vines in Coonawarra, SA. Centrally located, the Station Vineyard borders the old station along the single track rail line.

If available, the Flagship range is the highlight during a tasting. 

  • Brands Laira Wines to Taste:
    • Old Station Riesling
    • Old Station Cabernet Shiraz
    • Hero Tall Vines Shiraz
    • Stentifords Shiraz
  • Brand’s Laira Cellar Door Hours: Weekdays 9 am to 4:30 pm, Weekends 11 am to 4 pm; Closed Good Friday and Christmas
  • Address: 14860 Riddoch Highway, Coonawarra SA 5263
Coonawarra Cellar Door
Brand’s Laira. Credit: South Australian Tourism Commission/Adam Bruzzone

8. Digiorgio Family Wines

If you are short on time, Digiorgio Family Wines is a great cellar door in Coonawarra to taste wines from the property, but also other vineyards owned in the Limestone Coast of South Australia. Together, there is a complimentary variety of French and Italian varietals.

  • Digiorgio Family Wines to Taste:
    • Sparkling Merlot or Sparkling Pinot Noir
    • Lucindale Francesco Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
    • Fortified Shiraz
    • Lucindale Botrytis Semillon
  • Digiorgio Family Wines Cellar Door Hours: Daily 10 am to 5 pm; Closed Good Friday, Christmas, and Boxing Day
  • Address: Riddoch Highway, Coonawarra SA 5263
Coonawarra Wineries with Cellar Doors
DiGiorgio Family Wines. Credit: DiGiorgio Family Wines

7. Rymill Coonawarra

Rymill Coonawarra has an impressive estate worth viewing. From the cellar door, you can climb a flight of stairs to overlook the vineyard from the second story balcony. Along the way, take a moment to admire the modern day fermentation process and cellaring.

A pair of fighting mustangs greets you as you drive down the tree-lined road to the cellar door. The equestrian theme is prevalent throughout the winery, and draws on the family’s other love alongside Cabernet Sauvignon.

  • Rymill Wines to Taste:
    • Coonawarra Brut
    • mc2 (Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon)
    • Classic Cabernet Sauvignon
    • Sandstone Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Rymill Cellar Door Hours: Daily 11 am to 5 pm; Closed Christmas
  • Address: Riddoch Highway, Coonawarra SA 5263
Rymill Winery SA
Rymill Winery. Credit: South Australian Tourism Commission/Adam Bruzzone

6. Patrick of Coonawarra

Patrick of Coonawarra is a great winery in Coonawarra to visit if you want to indulge your taste buds and try highly rated wine varietals that are not found elsewhere nearby. The Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz that Coonawarra’s terra rossa is known for rank among the best at Patrick.

However, what grabbed our attention was the unique whites including the rare Botrytis dessert wine, gentle Pinot Noir, and Cider. There is literally something for everyone at Patrick of Coonawarra.

  • Patrick Wines to Taste:
    • Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot
    • Fume Blanc
    • ‘Aged’ Riesling
    • Pinot Noir
    • Home Block Cabernet Sauvignon
    • ‘Joanna’ Shiraz
    • ‘Grand Reserve’ Cabernet Sauvignon
    • ‘Jessie’ Botrytis Riesling
    • Applelation Cider
  • Patrick Cellar Door Hours: Daily 10 am to 5 pm
  • Address: Corner Riddoch Highway and Ravenswood Lane, Coonawarra SA 5263
Best Coonawarra Wineries
Patrick of Coonawarra . Photo credit: Patrick of Coonawarra

5. Balnaves of Coonawarra

Balnaves is a family friendly winery in Coonawarra with top notch wines to taste in their cellar door. Many of their wines, including a Chardonnay, have received over 95 points by James Halliday. The Cabernet Sauvignons are the highlight, with The Blend being a cult favorite.

Try to time your visit for a lunch break and enjoy the wonderful pond and picnic area that includes games for kids.

  • Balnaves Wines to Taste:
    • Sparkling Cabernet NV
    • Chardonnay
    • The Blend (Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon)
    • Shiraz
    • Cabernet Sauvignon
    • The Tally Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Balnaves Cellar Door Hours: Weekdays 9 am to 4:30 pm, Weekends 11:30 am to 4:30 pm, Closed Christmas and Good Friday
  • Address: 15517 Riddoch Highway, Coonawarra SA 5263
Wineries to visit in Coonawarra
Balnaves. Credit: Balnaves

4. Zema Estate

Zema Estate understands the terra rossa, and concentrates on the varieties that grow best in the red soil. While other Coonawarra estates are experimenting with new varietals, Zema Estate has primarily stuck with Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz since their creation in 1982.

Zema Estate’s cellar door tastings may be limited, but their wines are some of the best in Coonawarra. The Cluny Cabernet Merlot blend gets consistently good reviews and has an affordable price.

  • Zema Estate Wines to Taste:
    • Cluny Cabernet Merlot
    • Shiraz
    • Cabernet Sauvignon
    • Family Selection Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Zema Estate Cellar Door Hours: Weekdays 9 am to 5 pm, Weekends 10 am to 4 pm; Closed Good Friday and Christmas
  • Address: 14944 Riddoch Highway, Coonawarra SA 5263
Zema Estate Winery
Zema Estate. Credit: Zema Estate

3. Katnook Estate

Katnook Estate offers one of the best cellar door experiences. Come for the history and stay for the wine as all varietals and vintages are available for tasting.

Katnook Estate is tied to the foundation of the Coonawarra region. It was here that John Riddoch created Coonawarra’s first vintage in the Woolshed in 1896.

Just outside the wine cellar is the terra rossa walk-in pit that perfectly showcases the soil that has made Coonawarra one of the best wine regions.

Inside Katnook Estate’s cellar door, there is a wide selection of wines to choose from including sparkling, whites, and reds that steal the show.

  • Katnook Estate Wines to Taste:
    • Founder’s Block Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir NV
    • Founder’s Block Sparkling Shiraz
    • Founder’s Block Cabernet Sauvignon
    • Katnook Estate Merlot
    • Katnook Estate Shiraz
    • Katnook Odyssey (Cabernet Sauvignon)
    • The Caledonian (Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz)
  • Katnook Estate Door Hours: Weekdays 10 am to 5 pm, Weekends 12 pm to 5 pm; Closed Good Friday and Christmas
  • Address: Riddoch Highway, Coonawarra SA 5263
Katnook Winery
Katnook Winery. Credit: Katnook Winery

2. Wynns Coonawarra Estate

It would be impossible to visit Coonawarra, and not stop by Wynns Coonawarra Estate’s cellar door. They are the largest single vineyard holder, and rejuvenated the wine industry in Coonawarra in 1951 when they bought the prime terra rossa vineyards before red wines were popular.

Although they produce Riesling and Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz are the reason to visit the cellar door for wine tasting. What makes Wynns Coonawarra Estate special is their ability to localize their vineyards, and being able to taste the subtle differences among them.

Take a look at their soil samples from their different vineyards in the cellar door.

  • Wynns Coonawarra Estate Wines to Taste:
    • The Gables Cabernet Sauvignon
    • Cabernet Shiraz Merlot
    • V&A Lane Shiraz
    • Johnson’s Block Cabernet Sauvignon
    • Single Vineyard Alex 88 (Cabernet Sauvignon)
    • John Riddoch Cabernet Sauvignon or Michael Shiraz
  • Wynns Coonawarra Estate Cellar Door Hours: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm
  • Address: 77 Memorial Drive, Coonawarra SA 5263
Wine tasting in Coonawarra
Wynns Estate. Credit: Wynns Estate

1. Majella Wines

Majella tops our list of the top Coonawarra wineries with cellar doors. They have consistently good red wine across the board that will satisfy even the most discerning wine enthusiast. Guests looking for their new favorite wine varietal won’t be disappointed either with several excellent blends and sparkling options.

  • Majella Wines to Taste:
    • Cabernet Sauvignon
    • The Malleea (high-end Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz blend)
    • The Musician (value Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz blend)
    • Sparkling Shiraz
    • Minuet NV (sparkling Riesling)
  • Majella Wines Cellar Door Hours: Daily from 10 am to 4:30 pm; Closed Good Friday, Christmas, and Boxing Day
  • Address: Lynn Road, Coonawarra SA 5263
Majella Wines
Majella Wines. Credit: Majella Wines

Coonawarra Accommodation

There is a wide range of Coonawarra accommodation options that will fit any budget from free rest stops, glamping tents, cabins, cottages, vacation homes, apartments, houses, to a condo hotel.

Coonawarra Hotels is our preferred site for accommodation bookings. It lists around 18 properties in Coonawarra and nearby Penola (14 kms away), and all are highly rated. On a recent search the properties ranged in price from $60-$180.

The properties include:


  • Coonawarra Bush Holiday Park
  • Coonawarra Cabins
  • Coonawarra Units
  • Coonawarra’s Pyrus Cottage
  • Girraween House
  • Camawald Cooonawarra Cottage B&B
  • Highbank Country Accommodation


  • Cameron’s Cottage
  • Coonawarra Motor lodge
  • Traveller’s Rest B&B
  • Ruby’s Cottage
  • Penola Parkview
  • Merlot Verdelho Townhouses
  • Coonawarra Motor Lodge
  • Alexander Cameron Suites

Check accommodation prices now!


Airbnb lists around 26 properties for Coonawarra and Penola. They include tents, cabins, cottages, vineyard stays, houses, and boutique hotels. On a recent search the properties ranged in price from $25 a night for 4 guests at the Bush Bell Tent (no power or linen) to $525 for 8 guests at the Hollick House.

Check Airbnb prices now!

Hostels and Couchsurfing

There are no hostels in Coonawarra or Penola. Couchsurfing lists 13 hosts in Penola, but only 1 is active. Try Wikicamps Australia for free and cheap places to camp around Coonawarra.

Coonawarra Airbnb
There’s a surprisingly wide range of accommodation in Coonawarra

Driving in Australia

The only practical way of visiting the Coonawarra region, or outside of capital cities in Australia, is by car.

If you’re not traveling around Australia with your own wheels consider renting a car through Expedia for great weekly rates. The major car rental companies are Europcar, Budget, Avis, Hertz and Thrifty.

Check car rental prices now!

In order to drive in Australia you need a valid international driving permit accompanied by the drivers licence issued in the country you live in. To secure a rental you’ll also need to provide credit card as a form of security and a passport for ID.

Some of the main road rules in Australia to be aware of are:

  • Drive on the left side of the road
  • All drivers and passengers must wear seatbelts
  • Don’t drink and drive. The blood alcohol limit is 0.05
  • Don’t use your cell phone while driving, including texting

Road rules are strictly enforced (including speeding) and violations come with hefty fines or possible imprisonment.

Road conditions in the Coonawarra are pretty good, but in the surrounding areas there can be many gravel and unsealed roads. Watch out for wildlife on the road such as kangaroos, koalas, emus and wombats.

The emergency services number is 000.

Kangaroo road sign
Stay safe on the roads and watch out for kangaroos!

Check out Lonely Planet’s fantastic Discover Australia guidebook for more road trip ideas around South Australia and beyond.

Find more inspiration in one of the Australia guide books below! 

Travel Insurance

Although Australia is a very safe country to travel in, we always recommend purchasing travel insurance.  We’ve been using World Nomads in our travels through 80+ countries over the past 12 years. It’s the best-value provider we’ve found in terms of price and coverage, and we haven’t had any issues making (fortunately) minor claims.

For more details check out our World Nomads review here.

Get a quote for travel insurance now!

South Australian wine tasting

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means that we receive a small commission if you click on a link and purchase something that we’ve recommended, at no extra cost to you.

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