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Katnook Estate

Katnook has a rich heritage, for it was here that the Coonawarra wine region was born. John Riddock was a Scottish immigrant from Aberdeenshire who arrived at Penola in South Australia in 1861 and, recognising the enormous potential of the area with its maritime influences and fertile soils, began to buy up large parcels of land to plant fruit trees and vines; Katnook is the Aboriginal word for “fat land”. John founded the Coonawarra Fruit Colony in 1890, and established its headquarters at Katnook, planting around 56 hectares of vines. Coonawarra is one of Australia's finest wine regions. It all began in 1895 when John made his first vintage in a nursery shed, a rather modest effort, but the following year in 1896 his second vintage, produced in his woolshed at Katnook was was much larger, and gave some indication of what was to come. The historic woolshed still operates as Katnook's barrel room today and Katnook are one of the oldest existing and most esteemed wineries in the region. John died in 1901 and the following 50 years saw Coonawarra struggle as a winemaking region, with most of the grapes going for brandy or fortified wines. But in 1951 Samuel Wynn noticed Coonawarra's unique strip of terra rossa soils and acquired the Riddock cellars, which are now Wynns. In 1971 new vines were planted with great attention to viticultural management marking the dawn of a new era for Katnook. The first commercial vintage of Katnook wines was made in 1980 by Wayne Stehbens, their founding winemaker (one of the longest-serving and most successful winemakers in Australia's history) who, like John Riddock 84 years before, crafted it in the woolshed. Today Katnook have 155 hectares under vine stretching through those famous “red earth” soils, with Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling and new plantings of Malbec and Tempranillo. All the vineyards have Entwine Accreditation (Australia's official wine environmental assurance programme). Katnook was acquired by Accolade Wines from Spanish giant Henkell Freixenet in 2020. Katnook offer three ranges: the flagship Katnook Estate, the contemporary Founders Block, and the premium Limited Release range which includes the iconic Odyssey Cabernet Sauvignon and Prodigy Shiraz wines. All of Katnook's wines are crafted with uncompromising commitment. These are premium wines that showcase the regional integrity of Coonawarra. Katnook are a James Halliday 5-star awarded winery, and have two wines listed in Langton's Classification of Australian Wines VII.