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In 1891 the famous triple gabled winery and surrounding vineyards were built and planted by John Riddoch and called the Chateau Camoum. Riddoch’s vineyards are the core of today’s Wynns Coonawarra Estate, with his winery, essentially unchanged, forming the centrepiece of the operation.
Following John Riddoch’s death in 1901 the Coonawarra Estate languished for 50 years until 1951 when Samuel Wynn and Co, the Melbourne-based wine makers and merchants, purchased the winery and vineyards.
After much hard work, over the next 30 years Wynns gradually increased its holdings in the Coonawarra and by 1981 was the largest grower in the district with 440 hectares under vine.
Coonawarra's fame comes mostly from a freakish natural phenomenon called the terra rossa. Meaning literally 'red earth', the terra rossa is a low, cigar-shaped ridge of soil some 15 kilometres long and up to 1 kilometre wide.
Coonawarra - which is an Aboriginal word meaning 'honeysuckle' - is an isolated region 450 kilometres away from Melbourne and 380 kilometres from Adelaide. Coonawarra is renowned for its unique geological and climatic features - ideal for growing vines bearing the highest quality grapes.
Like all great wine regions of the world, Coonawarra's climate is cool and marginal. It is South Australia's southernmost wine region, positioned just 80 kilometres from the chilly southern ocean and cold Antarctic winds. The vines are assured a long, cool ripening period that builds up the intensity of flavours slowly in the grape and ensures a balanced acidity. The resulting wines will always be among Australia's finest for their richness, intensity, flavour and longevity.