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Centrally located in Australia's world class Coonawarra winegrowing district, Punters Corner is a boutique estate, and proudly, home to the 2000 Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy
Coonawarra, the aboriginal word for wild honeysuckle, is the name all associate with Australia's premier table-wine district, the dry red wines are amongst the best in the world. The Coonawarra viticultural area is based on the small area of terra rosa soil stretching north from Penola for fifteen kilometres and restricted to only two to three kilometres in width. Early assessments of Coonawarra area recognised the suitability of the natural elements of the district for vine growing.
John Riddoch built the first winery at Coonawarra (now owned by Wynn's) where the first sizeable vintage was crushed and processed in 1898. While John Riddoch did not live to see his venture develop much beyond its infancy, the outstanding reputation Coonawarra wines enjoy today is owed directly to his foresight and generosity.
With a love of Coonawarra wines, David Muir and Robert Hance commenced vineyard operations in the Coonawarra 1988 with the purchase and development of sixteen hectares in the Victoria and Albert Lane, Coonawarra. This property was planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Chardonnay. Armed with the knowledge that one needs excellent grapes to make excellent wine, a policy was developed to expand vineyard operations to enable Punters Corner to select grapes from various vineyards in Coonawarra.
In 1991 the sixty-four hectare Vincorp vineyard was established in northern Coonawarra and in 1992 operations were further expanded with the purchase of the twelve-hectare Punters Corner Cellar Door vineyard. In 1998 a fourth vineyard was planted in central Coonawarra. All grapes reserved for the Punters Corner label come from company vineyards. Each block of grapes is sampled and tested separately through the growing season, the most superior batches are set aside for the Punters Corner label and are picked separately at harvest.
In 1996, the colleagues at Balnaves constructed an innovative winery and engaged the services of Punters Corner talented winemaker Peter Bissell. Today, with Pete Balnaves managing the Punters Corner vineyards and Pete Bissell making the estate wines, Punters Corner are set to achieve the highest standards of viticulture and wine making techniques.
Punters Corner wines are classically Australian in style and represent the most elite batches of grapes available to the Punters Corner vineyards in any year. Punters Corner vineyards currently produce some twelve hundred and fifty tonnes of fruit per annum of which one hundred and eighty tonnes are selected to produce premium table wine under the Punters Corner label.
Punters Corner have achieved numerous successes in wine shows both nationally and internationally. Punters Corner was honoured to have its 1996, 1997, 2000, 2002 and 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon included as one of Coonawarra's finest Cabernets in the annual Coonawarra Cabernet Weekend Auctions. Punters Corner Barrel Series 9 took out record price selling for an amazing $33,198.75, the highest price ever paid at auction!
As well as winning Australia's most coveted wine award, the 2000 Jimmy Watson trophy, Spartacus Shiraz has been included in the prestigious Bon Appetite magazines top one hundred wines available in the United States James Halliday has rated Punters Corner Wines with 5 Stars in both his 2005 and 2006 Wine Companion, rating the 2002 Spartacus Reserve Shiraz 96 points and the 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon 94 points. To further add to the notoriety of Punters Corner Wines, the contract winemaker Peter Bissell was named the 2005 Qantas/Gourmet Traveller WINE, winemaker of the Year.
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