All the latest news and updates: June Edition

All the latest news and updates: June Edition

An update from Dru and Nicole

As always here is a monthly update on all the goings-on here at Koonara Wines. Our 2022 vintage is well and truly wrapped up. Where have the last few months gone?  I have no idea. Unlike the rest of Australia, for most of our growing season it was dry as toast here, allowing us to dribble the water on the vines to keep tonnes low but the quality high.

We did do two mineral sprays, but upon reflection, I’m starting to realise we don’t need them. What we do need is to increase the diversity of grasses and flowers in our vineyard to help grow microbiology in the soil.

With every vintage and year that passes, it’s a great chance to reflect and look back on what worked and what we can improve on.

I’m thirsty for knowledge and so I’ve been reading the book by Gabe Brown “Dirt to Soil.” There are a lot of key takeaways and I’m definitely filling in the knowledge gaps. I’ll keep you updated with everything that I learn. 

I know I’m like a broken record but let me tell you this year’s vintage looked exceptional and I am very much looking forward to the finished product! Quietly confident you will love what we have produced too.

Dru with the new Pinot GrisSpeaking of new release wines (sneaky segue) the good news is you won’t have to wait long as we are ready and raring to go. You may have seen our 2022 Lucy and Alice Pinot Gris was released last week and keep your eyes peeled next week for our 2022 Emily May Rose.

Chicago SmithIn other news, we have welcomed Chicago Smith to the team. She joins us to take over Caitlin’s role as she heads off on maternity leave. We are very excited about having Chicago’s energy in our team and meeting Caitlin’s new bubba soon.  

We are also busy putting the final touches on our plans for Cellar Dwellers which kicks off in July – a month-long celebration of all things wine as we all dig deep and dust off our back vintages for you to try and buy. 



Share the Dignity update

For those of you unaware we wanted to try something a bit different for Mother’s Day this year.  So we pledged to donate 10% of our sales in the lead-up to Mother’s Day to the Share the Dignity campaign. Check out how much we raised here



AGL Power Plant

2 mins to do good

The AGL demerger is poised to set back Australia once again on its Paris climate targets. AGL is Australia’s biggest polluter, and the demerger is set to offload assets that are hurting its reputation. Find out how you can help by clicking here




Recipe of the Month


Recipe of the Month

Red Wine & Chocolate Braised Lamb Shanks

This delicious dish is perfect with both of our family reserve red wines. With the rich chocolate tones and the melt-in-your-mouth lamb – it’s the perfect dish for a winter’s weekend. Jump to the recipe here

May I suggest this playlist while you make it 


Deep Wood ChardonnayWine of the Month

Deep Woods Reserve Chardonnay 2018 

A few years of age on a great Chardy makes it sing, and this one was ready to drink. Once again, Jules Langworthy with the Midas touch making some gold. You can buy it here or lock in a more recent vintage and save it for future you to enjoy here.



Artist of the Month

Mallrat – Butterfly Blue

Australian singer-songwriter Grace Shaw is an Indie upstart slowly seeping into the mainstream. She has just released this new album that needs a few listens. It’s super likable. Check it out here. For a way better review of her album check out this article




Upcoming Events


Cellar Dwellers

Join us this July for the Coonawarra Cellar Dwellers events. We have some tasty offerings planned this year and we think you’ll love them.  Find out what we are up to here.


Cellar Door In the City

Join us in August as we pack up the wines and head around the nation so you can taste the best that Coonawarra has to offer. Check out where we will be and the full program here



Dunkeld Races

Our Platinum Marquee is located in the premium trackside infield location, this marquee is suited for those guests looking for a superior day of racing, elegance and fun. 

Tickets are $205 which includes general admission to the racecourse, all-inclusive gourmet finger food as well as premium wine and beers and live entertainment. 

To book or to find out more click here


Upcoming Wine days

Get your highlighter ready, and mark the following wine days on your calendar, so you can be well-stocked and ready to celebrate!

Friday 24th June – National Rose Day

Thursday 28th July – International Shiraz Day


9 Gin and Vodka Cocktails to swirl in your Smartini

9 Gin and Vodka Cocktails to swirl in your Smartini

James Bond made sipping from cocktail glasses look effortlessly cool, when let’s be honest the reality is part of your drink usually ends up running down your arm or on splashes on the floor.  It was after a lot of “research” (i.e. sipping martini’s) I knew cocktail lovers deserved better so I did what I do best when dissatisfied with the status quo, and designed a glass myself.

Having previously designed our Savour Wine glasses and taking inspiration from them I have designed what I like to call a Smartini glass (cue clapping and applause).


What’s this Smartini you speak of?

Our Smartini cocktail glasses feature a non-spill curve at the top of the glass to stop your drink from splashing out and running down your arm, but still maintains a fine rim that doesn’t drip when you take a sip, literally poetry in motion.

Like all of our other glassware wear our Smartini glasses are potassium salt strengthened, making them 5 x stronger than normal glass. Suitable for both domestic and commercial dishwashers, they can be used in both home and more commercial settings. These glasses are a stylish alternative to your standard martini glass and will be sure to impress even the fanciest of cocktail drinkers

Introducing the Smartini glass

To celebrate the release of our Smartini glasses we have compiled a list of some of the very best Gin and Vodka based martinis and cocktails for you to shake and stir.

Just like James Bond, Shaken not Stirred…

Straight up let’s talk about the vesper martini made famous by James Bond. This martini is a mix of both gin and vodka and dry vermouth and is definitely not one for the faint-hearted. Best garnished with either a twist of lemon or olives this one is simple and stylish. Get your shaker ready with the recipe here

Channel your inner James Bond with this martini

One for the Sex and the City Fans

It’s possible the Vesper Martini is to James Bond what the Cosmopolitan is to Sex and the City. Although this drink had been around for quite sometime before those 4 sassy single ladies made it iconic. 20 years on (yes that’s really how long it’s been since Carrie Bradshaw aired on our screens) the Cosmopolitan with its refreshing citrusy and cranberry flavours mixed with Vodka is still a firm favourite today. The perfect drink to kick off a girls night. Find all the details to make them here

The Cosmopolitan is back

Wake up and smell the coffee

Whilst it was supposedly invented in the early 80’s the Vodka espresso now known as an Espresso martini has seen a recent surge in popularity. Most likely attributed to just how much people like good coffee and how well coffee mixes with vodka. When prepared correctly this martini not only looks fantastic in the glass but is strikingly smooth, and will put a pep in your step. Find the recipe here

Coffee and Vodka what could go wrong?

Chocoholics unite

But if the idea of coffee so late in the day (or morning, who am I to judge) is not for you perhaps you should try a chocolate martini. Still vodka-based but with Baileys Irish cream, chocolate liqueur and syrup its one for the sweet tooth among us. You can check it out here.

Summertime fun

While the Bikini Martini is relatively unknown to most, the striking layered effect is totally made for Instagram. The coconut rum, vodka and pineapple juice combo is the perfect reminder of warm sunshine on your skin and those long hot summer nights. Check it out here.

Smartini’s for the Wineo’s

Given Wine is our main jam, we couldn’t help but add a few cheeky wine-based cocktails to the mix for you to try out as well. We have even created some print at home recipe cards to go with these.

Rosey Gimlet 📷 with thanks to Cherie Birks

New York Sour

Much like the bikini martini, this one is totally insta worthy with the red wine floating effortlessly on the whisky sour. The New York Sour is a treat for the tastebuds with the whisky sour a perfect balance of sweet, and tart. When you add the red wine, it adds complexity and fruity acidity. You can use any one of our delicious red wines in this recipe, but we recommend the Wanderlust Cabernet.

Lucy Spritzer

Given our Flowers for Lucy Moscato is such a crowd favourite it we had to add a cocktail or two featuring it. Our Lucy Spritzer will please even the non-Moscato drinkers amongst us, as the Aperol tones down the sweetness of the Moscato. This one is a super refreshing drink on a hot day.

Rosey Gimlet and Lucy Gimlet

Now you may be wondering what the hell a gimlet is. Quite simply it’s a cocktail made of gin and lime juice. When you add some of our Emily May Rosé it simply becomes a Rosey Gimlet, if you want something a bit sweeter, we have adapted this one with our Flowers for Lucy Moscato and proudly introduce the Lucy Gimlet.

Lucy Gimlet 📷 with thanks to Liana Skewes

Be sure to check out the PDF document just below for our very own print at home recipe cards for our Koonara Wines based Cocktails. We can’t wait to see these glasses out in the wild, filled with the most delightful drinks. Be sure to tag us on socials @koonara in all of your #smartinis and cocktails makes.

Wine Cocktails

Cooking With Koonara

Cooking With Koonara

It’s no secret we like to cook, so when we were approached by Gavin from Another Food blogger fame to collaborate on a recipe we jumped at the chance. 

Gavin created for us something that is so well paired with our two premium Family Reserve Red Wines, that we couldn’t help but be excited. So get yourself to the grocery store because you are going to want to make these Red Wine and Chocolate Braised Lamb Shanks. They are absolutely delicious and are a perfect match for the cold Winter days now upon us. 

You can download and print out the recipe ⬇⬇