Penola and Coonawarra in South Australia

Penola and Coonawarra are highly productive and innovative adjoining regional towns centrally located in the Wattle Range Council area of the Limestone Coast, approximately half-way between Adelaide (400km) and Melbourne (500km). A beautiful place steeped deep in history and the arts, nestled amongst our highly productive and picturesque landscape and home to some of the most exquisite produce and wine on the planet.

Established in the 1840s, the townships of Penola and Coonawarra were built upon the ‘Penola Fruit Growing Colony’ now known as the world-renowned Coonawarra wine region. Along with an extensive grape and wine industry, rural land is largely used for sheep and cattle grazing, broadacre crops, horticulture and timber production. Our region is largely characterised by fertile soils, lush green grass, reliable rainfall and significant good-quality groundwater resources.

The towns central location in the region, which includes under an hours drive to stunning coastline, a 25 minute drive to the world-heritage listed Naracoorte Caves or 30 minute drive to our major regional centre of Mount Gambier makes an ideal destination to stay in comfort and explore as a destination in its own right, or for travellers driving through from Melbourne to Adelaide along the Great Ocean Road.

Steeped deep in history and the arts, nestled amongst our highly productive and picturesque landscape and home to some of the most exquisite produce and wine on the planet, Penola and Coonawarra offer visitors a busy food, music and cultural scene.

Penola is the oldest and most central town in the Limestone Coast — rich in tradition and full of hidden treasures. Discover our town’s fascinating history on our heritage walk where you can relive the days of yesteryear along the historic Petticoat Lane which includes National Trust heritage-listed cottages to explore and the St Mary MacKillop Interpretive Centre — a centre created to honour Australia’s first saint and Penola resident, St Mary MacKillop who co-founded the Congregation of the Sister of Saint Joseph with Father Julian Tension Woods.

Our historical charm marries well with an eclectic and innovative mix of cafes, galleries and boutique-style shops. With a population of 2000, artists, creatives and winemakers affectionately call Penola and Coonawarra home.

The world-renowned Coonawarra wine region adjoins the township of Penola. Our delicious wines have been made famous with thanks to our talented winemakers and the unique terra rossa soil (produced by the weathering of limestone over thousands of years and coloured by iron oxide) which influences the quality of fruit and wine flavour. Our region first started exporting wine in the late 1800s and is now referred to as Australia’s leading Cabernet Sauvignon region. Taste a drop or two and you’ll be hooked.

Coonawarra hosts award-winning restaurants and includes over 30 wineries and cellar doors with unique tasting experiences waiting to be discovered. With a multitude of regular events incorporating the arts, food and music — there is always something to do.

Love Nature?

For the nature-lovers a visit to the Penola Conservation Park near Coonawarra or Penola’s Greenrise Recreation Reserve on the Mount Gambier side of Penola is a must. Stroll around the arboretum trail of 1.2km showcasing 110 species of trees before linking up to the Adam Lindsay Gordon Walk around the dry lake and cemetery.

There’s something for everyone of all ages in Penola and Coonawarra. See you soon!

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Our community has been extremely fortunate to have a beautiful artwork donated for auction (shown below), with all proceeds fully funding more positions in the upcoming Riddoch Leaders X Generation Thrive program which was recently launched at Koonara Wines. See here: https://www.facebook.com/PenolaCoonawarraSA/posts/pfbid0aXNHzkk8Br3oY6Dr5bKVkr7kYvERgxNriiYKiY8gAtiyTBDix8XVTbL29UaZi5LLl
The artwork was created by local Boandik artist, Matthew Brookes. It represents Saint Mary MacKillop, Father Tenison Woods, the Sisters of St Joseph, and the local landscape with the vineyards. Matthew has tried to showcase the important education offered by the Sisters of Saint Joseph. He has generously donated this artwork by way of continuing education for youth in our region.
The artwork is currently on display at Koonara and bids can be made here (bidding closes 8pm this Sunday, August 7): https://airauctioneer.com/art-for-riddoch-leaders/original-artwork-by-indigneous-artist-matthew-brookes?position=0&list=9U0Nn0duPxCZb9RDbL1Lc8f-qNjPU1Ossr76mXdg-4o

Recent research has indicated that young people now take three and a half years more to settle and develop the emotional and social skills required for success in the workplace compared to 30 years ago. Additionally, they are motivated differently, seek more connection to purpose, and are at the highest risk of acquiring mental health issues.
The Riddoch Leaders X Generation Thrive program will develop and enhance participants' social and emotional capabilities while increasing personal accountability, self-leadership, resilience, and well-being, which will better prepare our future leaders for success in their personal and professional lives.

For further information, express interest or apply for a scholarship: https://penolacoonawarra.com/riddoch-leaders-program/
Generation Thrive: https://generationthrive.com.au/
For telephone enquiries, please contact Courtney Grigg, Generation Thrive General Manager on 0434 124 592.
We’re into our third weekend in July! With Coonawarra Cellar Dwellers still in full flight, there’s so much to do this weekend. We’ve popped a few winter-warming food ideas below:

⭐️ Rymill Winery - ‘Hot pots in July’. With the choice of Meatballs in Sugo, or Over the Rainbow minestrone.. you’re sure to be in for a treat with a vino in hand too!

⭐️ Patrick of Coonawarra - enjoy a heart-warming bowl of Thai Pork and Peanut Curry matched perfectly with their award-winning '2014 Block 5 Aged Riesling'. This can be enjoyed as an experience on its own or with their Riesling Flight. 

⭐️ Ottelia is taking you back in time! For the first time, Ottelia will be hosting a back vintage tasting, including their 2012 Coonawarra Cabernet. Experience two aged wines alongside their current release counterparts, with a trio of snacks inspired by the decades gone by. 🍷

Do you have something to add to this list? We’ll have more inspiration to come! 
#penola #discovercoonawarra #coonawarra #seesouthaustralia🍷 #thelimestonecoast