Brand's Laira has been a pillar producer in Coonawarra since its inception in 1966. The winemaking ethos is to produce distinct Coonawarra cabernet sauvignon from the best possible fruit. The wines are defined by the powerful influence of the rich red soils the vineyards are planted on – with some of the old vines dating back 130 years.
The Brand's Laira cellar door, which has been newly refurbished, is centred on the original stone building from the 1800s cellar. Inside the cellar door, guests can enjoy a guided wine tasting, or relax in the dining area with selections from the seasonal menu, including tasting plates, pastries, grazing boxes and more.
The stunning vineyard views are framed by floor-to-ceiling windows that open onto the deck, so guests can enjoy a wine in the alfresco dining area.
The Brand's Laira cellar door.
Cellar door manager Sam Flint says when it comes to the wine, the vineyard location and quality of fruit is the key to success.
"In an iconic region such as Coonawarra where terroir is everything, the centrality of cultivating and harvesting grapes for premium wine production must not be forgotten. The art of winemaking can be seen in its ability to harness and encapsulate the winemaker’s personality, with Brand’s Laira lead winemaker Brooke Blair’s approach incorporating reflection of the terroir, balance, and harmony."
Brand's Laira's lead winemaker Brooke Blair, who grew up on the Limestone Coast, has an affinity for Coonawarra and South Australia. Brooke loves the complexities of blending, and focusing on experimenting with how wines from the same region can be blended to create new flavours.
Flagship wines to try
2018 Brand's Laira Blockers Cabernet SauvignonNamed in honour of founder Eric Brand, one of the original ‘Blockers’ (landholders who sold their grapes to larger wineries in the 1950s and 1960s). The Blockers Cabernet is one of Brand’s Laira’s most widely enjoyed wines. A deep garnet red colour alludes to the dark classic berry fruits of cassis and blackberry notes that are accompanied by subtle oak, displaying cashew nut and vanilla aromas. An intense palate with powerful, fine-grained tannins and a long, fine finish.
RRP $28 | Drink to 2033 | Shop this wine
Food pairing suggestion: This wine pairs beautifully with mushroom pasta, lamb shanks, or a bean ragu.
H. What do you love about this wine?
BL. Made in classic Coonawarra style, it is the perfect combination of rich fruit, complexity and elegance. Established in 1990, plantings at the Kirkgate vineyard took three years to complete. With a variety of soil types, fruit from this block is more intensely flavoured and is the backbone of Blockers Cabernet Sauvignon.
2016 Brand's Laira One Seven One Cabernet SauvignonBrand’s Laira’s flagship wine. Fruit for One Seven One is sourced from the winery’s number one block of cabernet sauvignon, which was planted in 1971 on the famous Terra Rossa soils. Pure dark brambly cassis is seamlessly integrated with toasty cedar oak flavours. The combination of brilliant fruit from very established old vines with the elegance of top-quality French oak has produced a balanced wine. It finishes long with fine velvety tannins and lingering fruit notes.
RRP $80 | Drink to 2043 | Shop this wine
Food pairing suggestion: The One Seven One is a perfect accompaniment to braised beef, roasted or grilled lamb and portobello mushrooms.
H. What do you love about this wine?
BL. With fruit from some of the oldest vineyards in Coonawarra, on the famous Terra Rossa soils, One Seven One embodies the true essence of everything a Coonawarra cabernet should be. This award-winning wine offers excellent longevity and ageing potential with careful cellaring.
The Brand's Laira cellar door is open seven days a week. To book a tasting or for more information visit brandslaira.com.