A pioneering estate with vines first planted in 1896, the lovingly restored property just five kilometres east of Auburn lives and breathes the region’s winemaking traditions, embracing a new generation of custodianship under the watchful eye of father and son Nick and Alexander George. Deeply respectful of Koonowla’s extraordinary history, the George family have worked tirelessly to restore the original landmark buildings, rehabilitate the delightful grounds and reawaken the heritage-rich gravity winery as well as the surrounding vineyards.

Koonowla’s story has always been one of resilience and hope, shooting to prominence in the early 1900s with founder John Tothill overseeing the production of up to 250,000 litres of wine annually with a booming export business. But a disastrous fire in 1926 damaged the winery and much of the vineyard, prompting a conversion to grain and wool. As the modern Australian wine industry came to life in the 1980s, the vineyards were replanted, and from 1991 under then owners, the Michael family, grew to 50 hectares of highly regarded estate-grown shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, riesling, merlot and semillon.

After falling in love with the property at a concert in the grounds in 2017, finally the moment came in 2019 for Nick to acquire Koonowla and further establish his roots in the Clare Valley with revered vineyards from Armagh in the north of the region to Auburn in the south. As Nick and son Alex proceed to write the next chapter in the property’s rich history, they wish to showcase the estate not just as a centre for great wine but as a welcoming venue for special occasions – weddings, anniversaries, community functions, corporate lunches – the opportunities are endless.

Just like the Koonowla story. A place where respect for the past inspires a future of hope and well-being.


  • Number of bottles produced: 360.000
  • In charge of vineyard management: Tony Poola
  • Name of Company contact: Alexander George
  • Telephone: +61 0418 700 222
  • Website: https://koonowla.com
  • Address:

    Koonowla Wines
    PO Box 257
    18 Koonowla Road
    Auburn, South Australia 5451

The winery

A pioneering estate with vines first planted in 1896 Alexander George

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