Leconfield

Leconfield

This Coonawarra estate is home to the Hamilton family - one of the original winemaking families in Australia - and has long been renowned for its cabernet sauvignon.

It was Richard Hamilton who founded the family estate in 1837, beginning with vineyards just south of Adelaide, and over 175 years and five generations later it is another (Doctor) Richard Hamilton who is in charge of the Hamilton family wines.

Their Coonawarra vines lie in the heart of the region and occupy 44 hectares in total. The soils - terra rossa (red-brown loam) over limestone - are particularly suited to cabernet sauvignon, as is the maritime climate of dry summer days and cool nights, which meteorological data suggests is similar to that of Bordeaux.

As well as cabernet sauvignon, which makes up the majority of plantings, there is also some cabernet franc, petit verdot, merlot and shiraz, as well as sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and riesling for white wine production. The vineyards here are managed by the talented Bendt Rasmussen, who has over 20 years of experience working in Coonawarra vineyards. The wines are made by Paul Gordon.

After fermentation in French oak, the cabernet sauvignon spends around 17 to 19 months in oak barrels, around half of them new. The family also produces a cabernet called Warner's Corner, coming from a specific site in Coonawarra, which provides excellent value for money.