Auction at the barrier

Auction at the barrier

The Coonawarra Imperial Auction has long been a highlight for attendees at the 36° South Coonawarra Vignerons Cup Marquee event, and for the first time since 2016 organisers have opened registrations for external bidding.

Eight six-litre imperial Coonawarra wines will be up for grabs on Thursday, coinciding with the 41st running of the Coonawarra Vignerons Cup, with vintages ranging from 1991 to 2019 featuring in the Auction catalogue.

In years gone by, only ticket holders to the marquee event have had the opportunity to bid exclusively on these prized wines, however in 2023 the auction will be open to external bids with prior registration.

Coonawarra Vignerons Marketing and Events Officer Heidi Guyett said wine collectors across the country had every reason to be excited about the auction.

“It’s been two years since the Coonawarra Vignerons Cup Marquee event has been hosted, so there has been great anticipation around the return of the event and the release of the auction wines in particular,” she said.

“Each of the wines are one-off, presented in a bespoke velvet-lined Jarrah box, and labelled for the 2023 36° South Coonawarra Vignerons Cup Day Event, making them instant collectors’ items.

“Not to mention – if the winemaker/producer is in the marquee – the wine will also be personally signed before being handed over to the lucky purchaser.”

DiGiorgio Family Wines managing director and owner and long-time supporter of the Coonawarra Vignerons Cup Day event, Frank DiGiorgio has welcomed the initiative to invite external bidding.

“The auction presents a rare opportunity to purchase one-off individual wines from some of Coonawarra’s top producers.

“It’s not every day that large format wines like this come up for grabs, so it is a real privilege for guests at the event, let alone those who wish to get a piece of the action remotely,” he said.

Featuring in the catalogue of auction wines is a multi-award winning 1991 St Hugo Cabernet Sauvignon, which is anticipated to be the jewel in the crown of the line-up.

Following its release in the early 1990s the wine was consistently awarded gold medals at wine shows and took out the top trophy for the Best Dry Red Table Wine at the 1998 National Wine Show of Australia.

According to the St Hugo winemaking team the 1991 vintage is a fabulous example of a quintessential Coonawarra Cabernet.

“A recent tasting of the 1991 St Hugo Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon found that vintage is still looking exceptionally good and holding its freshness,” the team said.

Another of the imperials set to create a stir is the Wynns Coonawarra 2016 O’Deas 3.13, also known as THE HOBBIT in the vineyards.

“This beautiful small batch wine is one the Wynns Winemakers love, being a one-off small batch of 4 Bordeaux varieties that were picked and fermented together – a true field blend from the warmer 2016 vintage,” Mrs Guyett said.

“It was also a trophy winner from the 2021 Limestone Coast wine show for best blended red..”

The imperial auction will take place about 2.45pm on Thursday in the Coonawarra Vignerons Marquee at the Penola Racecourse, with phone bids excepted via online pre-registration.

The imperials are anticipated to fetch anywhere between $1000 and $10,000.

Featured wines include –

• Balnaves of Coonawarra – 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon

• Banks Thargo Coonawarra – 2019 Cabernet Malbec

• Bundalong Coonawarra -2017 Cabernet Sauvignon

• DiGiorgio Family Wines – 2013 Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon

• Raidis Estate – 2015 The Trip

• St Hugo – 1991 Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon

• Yalumba – 2016 The Menzies Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon

• Wynns Coonawarra Estate – 2016 O’Deas Red Blend

Interested participants are encouraged to submit their registration of interest online at to put themselves in the running to partake via phone during the live auction proceedings.

Registrations close at noon today.

Two beautifully crafted A.P John Coopers’ barrels will also be auctioned, available exclusively to ticket holders at the live event.

Why wait? Get more stories like this delivered straight to your inbox
Join our digital edition mailing list and stay up to date on the latest news, events and special announcements from across the Limestone Coast.

Your local real estate guide - every Thursday


You might also like