Food Drink

Coonawarra’s Cellar Dwellers event celebrates two decades of vintage delights

Discover the rich history and exquisite aging of Coonawara wines at the 20th anniversary of the Cellar Dwellers event this July, featuring rare 2004 vintages and exclusive winery experiences.

Coonawarra, with its acclaimed wine-producing heritage, is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its Cellar Dwellers event throughout July 2024. This milestone marks two decades since the event’s inception in 2004, which was originally designed to boost visits to the region’s cellar doors during the quieter winter months.

The Cellar Dwellers month has evolved significantly over the years, according to Heidi Guyett, Coonawarra Vignerons Events and Marketing Officer. “The event began with simple back vintage wine tastings and has grown into a comprehensive program featuring over 20 producers and a variety of events including long lunches, winery tours, and dinners across Coonawarra,” Guyett explained.

This year, to mark the 20th anniversary, wineries are delving into their museum collections to bring out special 2004 vintage wines. These wines will be available for tasting at selected cellar doors and will feature on the wine lists at several dinner events throughout the region.

One of the key events, the Cellar Dwellers Back Vintage Tasting Showcase, is set to take place on Friday, July 12. It will offer attendees the chance to taste 30 back vintage delights from a range of wine varieties including Chardonnay, Riesling, Merlot, Shiraz, and the classic Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon. The showcase will be held at Hollick Estates Barrel Hall and promises a night of exploration into the ageing potential of these carefully cellared wines.

“The uniqueness of this event lies in its assembly of various Coonawarra producers in a single location, offering a collective showcase of our wines,” Guyett said. She said that the event is also an opportunity for producers who do not have regular cellar door openings to participate and display their wines.

Following the tasting event, guests are invited to stay for a two-course dinner at Hollick’s Upstairs Restaurant, crafted by renowned local chef Ian Perry. The events are designed not only to showcase Coonawarra’s wines but also to educate visitors on the ageing process of both red and white wines.

The celebration will culminate with the Cellar Dwellers 20th Anniversary Gala Dinner, scheduled for Saturday, July 27 at Parker Coonawarra Estate. The gala will feature a selection of Coonawarra’s museum wines and will provide an occasion to induct three esteemed patrons of Coonawarra Vignerons.

“We are thrilled to pour some exceptional museum and 2004 vintage wines to celebrate this significant milestone at the gala dinner,” said Guyett.

Tickets for these events start from $40 and can be booked online. For those needing transport, a shuttle service from the Penola township to Hollick Estates will be available.

Coonawarra Vignerons, a non-profit members organisation, manages six annual events including Cellar Dwellers, supporting local grape growers and winemakers in promoting and enhancing the reputation of the Coonawarra wine region.

For more details on the event schedule and bookings, interested parties can visit the Coonawarra Vignerons website at www.coonawarra.org.

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