Visitors ‘drop in’ for winter wines

Coonawarra vignerons are celebrating the success of the annual Cellar Dwellers festivities, which bolstered visitor numbers.

The month-long event wrapped up on the weekend with many local and interstate visitors enjoying the Coonawarra during the winter season.

People had the opportunity to taste beautiful back vintage wines and indulge in amazing food, with wineries hosting over 50 events and activities throughout July.

Coonawarra Vignerons executive officer Ockert Le Roux said both the feature events and month-long events were well-attended.

“I definitely think the 18th annual Cellar Dwellers Celebrations met our expectation, both in terms of the featured events and the general traffic that visited Coonawarra throughout the month of July,” Mr Le Roux said.

Varying numbers were reported from cellar doors, with DiGiorgio Family Wines recording a 29% increase in last year’s visitation figures and a 47% increase on last year’s cellar door sales, both their best on record.

Parker Coonawarra Estate recorded a 29.6% increase in visitor numbers and a 37% increase in sales and Katnook Estate visitation numbers were up 18% from last July along with recording their best July counter sales since their records dating back to 1999.

“Obviously what played a big role was our Victorian visitors have now got free access again to South Australia, so that helped a lot from that perspective,” Mr Le Roux said.

“A good half of the visitors come from Victoria traditionally, so it was good to see those numbers back and they have definitely bolstered the overall attendance to the region.”

Mr Le Roux believed a factor that came into play with events that were not fully sold out was Australians being able to travel to other states again.

“I think there was a lot of traffic that was previously in the COVID times restricted to South Australia and Victoria, has moved to warmer destinations in the warmer parts of Australia during the school holidays,” he said.

There is still plenty coming up, including the Coonawarra Cellar Door in the City Roadshow travelling to Australia’s five major cities this month and the Coonawarra Cabernet Celebrations in October.

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