Balnaves | Coonawarra

Balnaves Cellar Door Tasting Building Over Pond

The Balnaves family vineyard is situated at the southern end of the famous Coonawarra Terra Rossa strip in South Australia. Planted in 1975, the vineyard is now 58 hectares in size (70% of which is planted with Cabernet Sauvignon) and has been in the family for three generations. Doug, together with his son Pete and daughter Kirsty, run the Balnaves vineyard and manage another 300 hectares for other growers in the heart of Coonawarra.

The quality of their fruit was always excellent, but they began their move to the top of the Coonawarra ladder in 1995 when they hired Pete Bissell (ex-Wynns) as their winemaker and started work on their own winery. Pete retired in June 2020 though he still works with Balnaves as consultant winemaker, alongside Jacinta Jenkins.

The vineyard is divided into small blocks of between one and two hectares, which are managed separately according to the specific needs of each area. This gives numerous blending components, which results in layered and complex wines. The Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot skilfully blends ripe black fruit with toasty oak, while the Cabernet Sauvignon, intense and poised, illustrates beautifully the balance obtained in these wines. The ‘Tally’ (a reference to the number of sheep you could shear in a day) is their top wine and is consistently rated as one of Australia’s top Cabernets.