Usually when you think about Australia, the last thing that comes up in your mind is wine. But don~t be fooled, Australia has some of the best and most awarded wines worldwide. So, now it~s time to dig a little deeper into the wine shelves and find what Australian wines and what the wine region is all about.
Wine is produced in every state, with more than 60 designated wine regions totalling approximately 160,000 hectares; however, Australia~s wine regions are mainly in the southern, cooler parts of the country, with vineyards located in South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania and Queensland. The wine regions in each of these states produce different wine varieties and styles that take advantage of the particular Terroir such as: climatic differences, topography and soil types. With the major varieties being 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 the varieties that are suited to warm climate vines such as Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, and Victoria known for the cool climate loving Pinot-Noir.
The largest vine growing region is South Australia, and Adelaide is the central wine production area. Located a few kilometres from Adelaide is Barossa Valley, South Australia~s most prestigious growing area. This region is unique because isolated from the rest of the world, which means that there are fewer diseases to the plants, thus resulting with some of the oldest living vineyards in the world. There are around 150 wineries and cellar doors in the Barossa Valley. Half of the cellar doors are open to the public, but most of the others happily open by appointment. Many conduct tours of their estates and wine-making facilities. The magic of Barossa Valley~s world-acclaimed wines lies in the diversity of its growing conditions. The Eden Valley produces distinctive cool-climate wine varieties; while the region~s flagship shiraz is grown in the warmer, low-lying areas. The Barossa Valley is also renowned for its fresh seasonal produce, artisan food producers and award-winning restaurants.
The major production in New South Wales comes from the inland Big Rivers Zone. This area has historically produced much of the commercial Chardonnay and Shiraz from Australia. However, because of severe drought in recent years, more wine grape growers are experimenting with drought friendly varieties like Tempranillo and Verdelho. The Hunter Valley located in NSW is Australia~s oldest wine growing region where you~ll find more than 150 wineries producing world-class wines.
Commercial winemaking in North West Victoria makes up the majority of wine production in the entire region. However, the growing areas of interest are cooler and closer to Melbourne such as Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley. The cool climate areas in Victoria have received a lot of praise for their Pinot Noir. Educating you palate is easier than you think just visit Australian wines and learn more about other tasteful world class wines.