Coonawarra vintage more than just a grape harvest

Member for MacKillop Nick McBride, Coonawarra Vignerons patron Wendy Hollick and Wattle Range Council Mayor Des Noll join in the grape stomping at the iconic Coonawarra Siding. Image courtesy Coonawarra Vignerons

The Coonawarra Grape and Wine industry will herald in the 2024 vintage with the clinking of glasses and sound of bagpipes, with community members and dignitaries set to gather at the iconic Coonawarra Railway Siding for the official Vintage Launch Ceremony.

On Wednesday 6th March, wine industry stakeholders and supporters will ‘raise a glass’ to the upcoming Coonawarra grape harvest and bid farewell to the season past.

Featuring a traditional grape stomp and the christening of the new vintage with a bottle smash (similar to that of a ship setting sail on her maiden voyage), the launch aims to bring the Coonawarra community together, from grapegrowers, cellar hands, and vineyard workers to machine operators, lab managers, winemakers and vignerons, and everybody in between.

The ceremony is set to begin with the ringing of bagpipes with Coonawarra Vignerons patron Doug Balnaves piping in the event in a nod to the region’s founding father, Scottsman, John Riddoch.

Coonawarra Vignerons executive officer, Hugh Koch, said he looks forward to celebrating the occasion, and emphasised the importance of Vintage, not only to the Coonawarra community, but for the entire district.

“Vintage in Coonawarra is more than when a wine’s grapes are harvested. It heralds the anniversary of a new year in Coonawarra, where we reflect and say goodbye to the previous season,” said Koch.

“As a community it is the commencement of the economic driver that sustains our economy, creates our jobs, gives us our services, drives our visitation, and continues to put us on the map as one of the most pre-eminent wine regions of the world.”

Coonawarra Vignerons president, Dan Redman, welcomed the official start of vintage, and said he anticipates great support from the local community.

“Last year we reintroduced the Vintage launch to the region. It celebrated the significance of the harvest bringing the whole community together, working in unison to ensure that grapes are picked for optimum quality and that winemaking teams can produce wines of a world class standing.”

“The Vintage Launch event will allow us to reflect on our past years, the people that have laboured and led the development of Coonawarra and acknowledge our Coonawarra Vignerons Patrons. It will also highlight the importance of Coonawarra’s contribution not only the local economy, but the national economy,” said Redman.

During vintage, the region welcomes workers from across Australia and the globe, to assist and experience grape picking, pressing, crushing and production in some of the nation’s most well-renowned wineries.

Community members are invited to attend the V24 Launch ceremony, which will take place at the Coonawarra Railway Siding, Giles Road, at 10am on Wednesday 6th March. The ceremony will be followed by a morning tea.

Guests are requested to register their attendance via Humanitix –