koonara, Author at Koonara Wines - Page 2 of 4
International Day of Happiness

International Day of Happiness

This Saturday marks the annual International Day of Happiness. The theme this year is ‘Keep Calm. Stay Wise. Be Kind’ this theme has obviously come about in response to the ongoing COVID pandemic. But let’s take a moment, as when you look at these statements its bloody good advice regardless of the day. 

Having a specific day to celebrate happiness is great as the greater the awareness the more ok it becomes to talk about things like our emotions, mental health and so forth.

What is this years themes?

The 2021 Theme of ‘Keep Calm, Stay Wise, Be Kind’ are great everyday ideas to live by. When you stop and really look at these ideas too, they are simple things that while only small can make a huge difference to your overall happiness mindset.

Keep Calm. 

There are lots of things outside our control. Let’s remember to breathe and focus on what really matters so we can respond constructively. I still swear by Pranayama breathing.

This is where you breathe in for 4 seconds, hold it for 4, breath out for 5. This stops your cortisol production, which causes your fight or flight stress response. When you’re in fight or flight, your body shuts down many other non-essential parts of the body until you are far enough away from the sabre-toothed tiger to be safe. That’s why that big breath out at the end of the day is relaxing because it gets your gut bacteria working again

Stay Wise.

Making wise choices helps everyone. Let’s choose positive actions that support our well-being and help others to do the same. A really good mantra I try to practice when staying wise is to THINK before I speak, and no I don’t just mean my usual thoughts but considering what I’m about to say and if it is actually giving value. 

THINK stands for the following questions. T Is it True, H is it helpful, I is it Inspiring, N is it Necessary, K is it kind? I find that if what I’m about to say doesn’t fit here somewhere then it’s probably best I just keep it to myself.

Be Kind.

We’re all in this together, even when we were forced apart. Let’s stay connected and reach out to help others who may be in need. Last year showed us just how important human connections are and given the nature of the pandemic we were forced to find new ways to connect with people and to show kindness.

It’s important as we return to what is now our new normal we don’t forget the kindness we found and were shown at the height of the pandemic last yearI’m not talking major random acts of kindness, although let’s be honest these are great, I’m talking about simple day to day things that are kind and don’t cost a thing.

Let that driver in. Smile at people, say thank you and mean it, open a door for someone. It’s proven that these simple acts of what some might just call good manners often cause ripples of kindness as the next person feels a bit brighter because you were kind to them. Guaranteed you will at least get a smile, with a sprinkling of happiness. Which in turn will bounce off them to you and then will often bounce to the next person – Go on try it and see. 

So my advice to you is not only this Saturday, but every day be sure to keep these 3 simple ideas for International Day of Happiness at the front of your mind, to ensure every day brings you closer to overall happiness.

And if all that fails, drink wine. 

Global Drink Wine Day February 18th

Hip Hip Hooray, It’s Global Drink Wine Day

Ok, so let’s be honest, there are many days when I’m pretty sure this is just every day. But low and behold this is an actual national day (primarily in the US- where it moonlights as National Drink Wine Day) where drinking wine is celebrated and encouraged.

Global Drink Wine Day in Australia

You’d think that given Australia has 60+ wine regions we would have embraced this day a little more. So we, with the help of Casey from the Travelling Corkscrew Blog, want to shout it from the rooftops and make sure you are on top of this momentous day and can celebrate accordingly. Casey suggested that it should be called Global Wine Day instead and that’s a suggestion we fully support. 

I did a little digging around on the interwebs and the actual origins of this particular day seems to been unknow. However, the common link between all of the information that’s out there was, that wine needs to be celebrated.

It’s amazing to think that wine has been around since its invention way back in 7000BC, although the creator is still unknown. The process of crushing grapes, letting them ferment before either bottling or letting it age in oak barrels is still pretty much the same today as it was back then – although maybe these days our success rates are a lot more guaranteed.

With so many variants on soil, temperature and the weather affecting the way the grapes grow, its no wonder there are infinite varieties of wine available to us, with no two vintages ever tasting exactly the same.

I’m passionate about building a good ecosystem in our vineyard so we can produce amazing wines

Global Drink Wine Day & Koonara Wines

As many of you would know here at Koonara we are passionate about ensuring we build our ecosystem to ensure we maintain our legacy and preservation of the land and in turn our Organic Certification. We do this by growing selected weeds which attract our “good bugs” that in turn eat the “bad bugs’ we don’t want which removes our need for using pesticides. We are also avid fans of weeds- lazy gardeners perhaps but when we let selected weeds grow long and their roots deep, we have found it aerates the soil and fills it with organic material. This helps hold water and the natural nutrients which then gives us healthy vines. Our so-called ‘lazy’ or ‘gentle’ approach to our vineyards means we can spend more time perfecting our wines at the other end ready for you to enjoy them.

Given wine boasts powerful antioxidants it would be remiss to suggest that wine is somewhat healthy.  Some scientists have even suggested that a glass of red wine a day does have health benefits.  With all of our wines having below organic levels of sulphur in them and low to no levels of residual sugar (depending on the variety) you can be confident that our wines are not only delicious but even a little bit healthier than others.

With an epic mix of both red and white wines, we are confident you will find something delicious from our vast range of wines to enjoy.  Perhaps it’s your next everyday quaffer or something a little bit special to enjoy on Global Drink Wine Day. Be sure to check out our huge range and find your new favourite today.

So, here’s Cheers to Global Wine day, hopefully, you can find some time to relax with friends or family over a nice glass (or even a bottle – but please drink responsibly)

Visit The Limestone Coast

Visit The Limestone Coast

Summer is here! Which mean summer holidays are upon us and given most of the borders are open again its the perfect time to plan your adventures. When was your last visit to The Limestone Coast? If you can’t remember, it’s clearly time to pack your bags and get on the road. Here are some of our favourite places to go as well as some must-see things to do.

Since there is so much to see and do in this wonderful region of ours, so we thought we’d compile a helpful guide of some absolutely must see and do things, as well as a few of our favourite places in the Limestone Coast. Please let us know if what you think of our suggestions and don’t forget to tag us in your social snaps #koonara


Koonara Wines – Penola – The Limestone Coast

Our Cellar Door – 44 Church Street All freshly painted and looking schmico our Cellar door is primed and ready to see you. You will need to register your visit with a QR code but otherwise it’s business pretty much as usual. With all of our wines available for tasting and a huge array of gifts, clothing and homewares to peruse. There is something for everyone.

Petticoat Lane – Penola – The Limestone Coast

While in Penola Wander down Penola’s historic Petticoat Lane, and step back in time to life in the 19th century. See the first settlers’ original cottages and grab a healthy snack from Penola’s community produce garden. Also make sure you say hello to Gertie the Alpaca.

Moss & Wild – Penola – The Limestone Coast

Time for Coffee? If you are looking for a quick lunch check out Moss & Wild a new cafe in the heart of Penola (opposite Koonara) – or if you are after something a bit special Ottelia + Fodder in Coonawarra has Melbourne’s ex-Supernormal chef cooking some amazing food.


Bellweather Wines – Coonawarra – The Limestone Coast

More Wine anyone? Bellwether Wines is a must to check out whille you are visiting Coonawarra. Winemaker Sue Bell has sensitively converted the 1868 Glen Roy Shearing Shed into Bellwether’s cellar door and a community kitchen. They have a produce chef on staff to match local produce with wine, and you can even spend the night ‘Glamping’ at their onsite camp grounds. For even more suggestions check our out See & Do page


Naracoorte Caves – Naracoorte – The Limestone Coast

Naracoorte World Heritage Caves Naracoorte Caves National Park is South Australia’s only World Heritage site. The caves have acted as pitfall traps and owl roosting sites, collecting animals for at least 500,000 years. The Caves preserve the most complete fossil record we have for this period of time, spanning several ice ages, the arrival of humans in the area and the extinction of Australia’s iconic Megafauna roughly 60,000 years ago.

Mount Gambier

The heart of The Limestone coast you could say. No visit to The Limestone Coast would be complete without a stop in Mount Gambier. With so much to see and do, make sure you spend a few days in the Mount.

The Blue Lake – Mount Gambier – The Limestone Coast

The Blue Lake The Blue Lake in Mount Gambier occupies one of the craters of the extinct volcano after which the city has been named. There is a 3.6-kilometre road and walking track around the circumference of the Blue Lake provides access to many viewing points. It’s absolutely amazing at this time of year as the water mysteriously changes to a deep turquoise blue. This is one attraction you will want to share all over Instagram, no filter needed I promise.

Shopping up a storm Be sure to nip into Lima and Co while you are in Mt Gambier. Exquisite fashions, gorgeous pillows and throws, luxe candles and soaps, leather bags, cowhide stools, inspirational reads, or cleansing herbal teas are just a few of the things you will find when you visit. Probably best to send husbands and kids over to the cave gardens while you shop.

ScRoll Queen – Mount Gambier – The Limestone Coast

Don’t ScRoll past this one Come and see for yourself what all the fuss is about. These guys specialise in everything ScRolls! The most popular and my favourite too is the Classic Cinnascrolls, a cinnamon flavoured ScRoll topped with a vanilla glaze… mmmm I’m salivating just thinking about it.

Confession Coffee House – Mount Gambier – The Limestone Coast

More Coffee anyone? Because you know how much we love coffee, the latest addition to the coffee scene in Mt Gambier just had to get a mention. Confession on Commercial Street West is a quirky, industrial-chic cafe, with so much lush green jungle foliage you are transported from the moment you enter. It’s totally Melbourne in the Mount.

Robe & Surrounds

No visit to the Limestone coast is complete without a trip to the beautiful coastline of Robe. Stunning one day and perfect the next. We absolutly love Robe in the summertime and think you will too.

Drift Cafe – Robe – The Limestone Coast

Feeling Pekish? Robe has a wealth of great food, wine and shopping. For your morning coffee head to Drift Cafe in the main street. Looking for an afternoon wine? The Governor Robe Attic House on the main street is a good place to rest tired feet. If you fancy locally caught seafood Sails at Robe is an excellent choice.

Mayura Station – near Millicent – The Limestone Coast

Holiday Experience Since you are on holidays why not indulge and head to Maruya Station. Mayura Station is in the heart of some of the best farming country in Australia. This pristine environment is ideal for producing the ultimate quality, award-winning Wagyu beef. The Tasting Room is a boutique facility offering the ultimate paddock to plate experience. The tasting room is located on-farm at Mayura Station approximately 10 minutes from the Millicent town centre

Loophole Brewing – Robe – The Limestone Coast

Time for a beer? After all your wine tasting in Coonawarra you might be looking for a cleansing ale – visit Loophole Brewing’s new brewhouse located next to the Caledonian Inn, or The Black Swan (who also do some amazing cocktails).

Loaves & Fishes – Robe – The Limestone Coast

Costal shopping Once owned by Dru and Nicole – Loaves and Fishes holds a special place in our hearts. It has a huge range of gifts and homewares, the latest in contemporary living, bedroom, kitchen, beauty, jewellery, baby gifting, affordable art, and packaged regional treats with relaxed coastal style. Make sure you pop in and say hello to Melissa and the team.

How to be a little bit more eco this Christmas

How to be a little bit more eco this Christmas

We all know how this story goes, your bin is overflowing with packaging and wrapping paper, you have more food waste than you know what to do with and your credit card statement is the stuff nightmares are made of come January.

If there is anything 202 has taught us amidst a global pandemic that surely, it’s the people and moments, we value more than the things and stuff. (Although I think Australia Post might think differently with the amount of buying our feelings, we did this year)

So how can you be a little bit more mindful this year?

Gift Experiences

Given we live in a culture of now, I know when I want or need something I tend to go and buy it. This makes what may have been a great gift idea for a birthday or Christmas non-existent. Consider gifting experiences to people for things they may not do themselves or things that they would use anyway. Things like Restaurant and Cinema gift vouchers, Memberships to Zoos, attractions or educational programs for the kids. My favourite is shared experiences where you get in on the action too. I’m not going to lie I’m a little partial to some day spa time with Nicole. She has a lovely time and so do I.

Consider how you wrap

While a big part of the emotional connection to Christmas is unwrapping presents, you can still achieve the same effect but by using scarves, or fabrics even pillowcases or tea towels. Tash our Ballarat Rep, tells me that she always sees heaps of scarves at op shops for next to nothing. The receiver can then re-use the scarf or tea towel for practical purposes or maybe even use it to wrap a present they are going to gift.

Meal Plan

Have a think about how many people you are catering for and what dishes you will be serving. By being more mindful you can work around what exactly you need to purchase, where leftovers can be used and incorporated into new dishes to ensure you only buy what you need. If you plan ahead you can even avoid the Christmas rush t ensure you have all the non-perishables purchased prior to reduce your time in the shop come Christmas eve.  If time permits it’s a great idea to give your fridge and pantry a big of a tidy before Christmas too. This of course lets you see what’s been hiding away in the dark deep corners and what has expired. Nothing worse than going to get something only to find its at the back of the fridge and its growing who knows what (ok that’s just me??)

Ditch the plastic

There will always be leftovers, this much I’m sure of. But instead of going to town with the clingwrap consider using containers with lids or reusable beeswax food wraps. This is a really simple switch to make in your day to day life which is great o carry on into the new year. Ditching the plastic should also apply to the single-use plates and cups, knives and forks you might be tempted to use. Yes, doing the dishes does suck, but some of the best conversations can happen at the sink. You don’t get that with throw away stuff. Consider using reusable glassware outside, we do happen to have the perfect glasses for that.

Ditch the Christmas Cards and Send emails or E’cards

Let’s be honest, sending a card with a generic message really doesn’t mean a great deal, yeas you took the time to hand write it but Chances are its more significant if you actually sit down and compose a message direct to the person.  Of course, you may still need to send a few paper cards to Aunt Flo and Uncle Brian who haven’t got the internet yet but reducing the number you send is the perfect start.

There are a host of other ways you can be more eco, from Solar powered Christmas lights, to regifting dud presents, shopping at op shops, gifting to charity instead of gifting full stop the list is endless, but hopefully these few tips will help you make some smarter choices this festive season.

Mount Gambier Summer Fiesta – Date TBC (A Friday in Feb/March 4.30-10.30pm)

Mount Gambier Summer Fiesta – Date TBC (A Friday in Feb/March 4.30-10.30pm)

 (Our Summer Fiesta is back, at a new location in the Mount Gambier Cave Gardens. Tickets are strictly limited so be quick to book.

Enjoy a great social night out with fantastic atmosphere, mouthwatering food, and all your favourite wines.

We’ll have 2 live bands, a DJ, wine, beer and cider available and the best summer fresh foods.

Check out our Facebook page for updates.


Date: TBC February or March at 4:30 PM to 10:30 PM PM (postponed from 14/1/22)
Location: Mount Gambier Cave Gardens, 1 Bay Road, Mt Gambier SA 5290

Ticket price:
Early bird (until 1 week before event): $15
Adult tickets (week leading up to event): $30
* Price includes polycarbonate wine glass


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