Out near where South Australia meets Victoria, some four hours southeast of Adelaide, is the stunning wine region of Coonawarra. It's a small region based around the historic town of Penola, which is known for its gentle plain vineyards and farmland, old farmhouses and small country villages. It's a place associated with quality wines of multi-generational wineries, and a famous strip of red earth over limestone called terra rossa.
While Coonawarra is about 100km from the sea, the cooling winds that blow in from the Southern Ocean have a cooling effect on the climate, which brings the temperature down and lengthens the ripening period during vintage. Coonawarra is one of the coolest climates in the nation to grow cabernet sauvignon – a wine that is known for its deep berry aromas, hints of dark chocolate and performance with ageing. It is from this much respected region that comes a new range of select wines to add to the wine list – Light of Day.
This exciting new label’s namesake is inspired by the Coonawarra wine renaissance of the 1950s that saw innovative winemakers reignite this traditional region with new techniques to produce wines that were instantly recognised for their quality. The brand also embraces the region’s etymology of ‘Coonawarra’ – the Bindjali Aboriginal word for the vibrant yellow wild honeysuckle that adorns the fields of Coonawarra in the summer. Light of Day wine embraces these values of quality and optimism, presenting a niche range of vibrant wine. It is made for people who understand the importance of Coonawarra as a wine region, and who also hold an appreciation for great-tasting wines with their meals.
The Light of Day Sauvignon Blanc (212819) is made in a lighter style, with just 12.5% alcohol. It’s a white wine that can be poured at the bar or offered on the wine list. It has lovely, intense aromas of white peach, aromatic lemon and gentle hints of wildflowers, followed by flavours of fleshy nectarine, passionfruit and citrus. The subtle fruity acid makes for a clean dry finish, making it an ideal wine to offer to those who are familiar with the tropical flavours of New Zealand sauvignon blanc. This is a wine to serve chilled alongside seafood dishes, such as kingfish carpaccio or even a plate of seared tuna sashimi. With its clean and dry zestiness, it makes the perfect counterfoil to a creamy seafood risotto with a touch of lemon – tying the wine and food together seamlessly.
Coonawarra is especially known for its cool climate reds, and the Light of Day Cabernet Sauvignon (212818) is a high-quality full bodied red with a silky texture and fine tannins that make it ready to drink now. On the nose it has lovely notes of spiced oak and hints of dried herbs, along with that classic Coonawarra aroma of rich blackberry. This is the wine to offer with meat dishes, from a slow-cooked lamb navarin to a seared fillet of venison (perhaps with a red berry sauce). With a lengthy but balanced finish, it pairs perfectly with Italian dishes, such as prosciutto wrapped beef braciole simmered in a rich garlic and basil tomato sauce.
Light of Day is a great and affordable way of bringing the Coonawarra experience to the bar or restaurant, without paying the price of the big names. Made from 100% Coonawarra grapes by winemakers that have used winemaking techniques that were perfected in the region, Light of Day is a label that offers a quality drinking experience.
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