Usually when you think of Australia, the last thing that comes to mind is wine. But don’t be fooled, Australia has some of the best and most award-winning wines in the world. So now is the time to dig a little deeper into the wine shelves and find out what Australian wines are and what the wine country is all about.
Wine is produced in every state, with more than 60 designated wine regions totaling approximately 160,000 acres; however, Australia’s wine-growing regions are primarily found in the colder southern parts of the country, with vineyards located in South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania, and Queensland. The wine regions of each of these states produce different varieties and styles of wine that take advantage of the particular Terroir, such as: climatic differences, topography and types of soil. The main varieties are predominantly Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Semillon, Pinot noir, Riesling and Sauvignon blanc.
The three most influential regions are New South Wales, South Australia, and Victoria. South Australia and New South Wales are most famous for varieties that are suited to warm-climate vines like Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, and Victoria is known for cold-weather Pinot-Noir.
The largest wine region is South Australia and Adelaide is the central wine-producing area. A few miles from Adelaide is the Barossa Valley, South Australia’s most prestigious growing area. This region is unique in that it is isolated from the rest of the world, which means there are fewer plant diseases, resulting in some of the oldest living vineyards in the world. There are about 150 wineries and wineries in the Barossa Valley. Half of the winery doors are open to the public, but most of the others are cheerfully opened by appointment. Many take tours of their wine-making properties and facilities. The magic of Barossa Valley’s globally acclaimed wines lies in the diversity of their growing conditions. The Eden Valley produces distinctive cold weather wine varieties; while the region’s flagship shiraz is grown in the warmer and lower areas. The Barossa Valley is also famous for its fresh seasonal produce, artisan food producers, and award-winning restaurants.
The largest production in New South Wales comes from the inland Big Rivers area. This area has historically produced much of Australia’s commercial Chardonnay and Shiraz. However, due to the severe drought in recent years, more winegrowers are experimenting with drought-friendly varieties such as Tempranillo and Verdelho. Hunter Valley, located in New South Wales, is Australia’s oldest wine region, where you will find more than 150 wineries producing world-class wines.
Commercial winemaking in northwest Victoria makes up the majority of wine production in the entire region. However, growing focus areas are cooler and closer to Melbourne, such as Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley. The cool climate areas in Victoria have received much praise for their Pinot Noir.