Australian Wine Facts

Get from 0–10 with Australian wine facts

0. Apparently there is more to Australian wine than the yellow tail shiraz.

1.Three varieties of grapes accounted for 60% of all winegrape production: Shiraz (362,217 tonnes), Chardonnay (384,283 tonnes) and Cabernet Sauvignon (207,558 tonnes). Diversifying is on the horizon as more Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc are being planted.

2. Australia has more than 2,400 wineries dotted throughout 65 wine regions around the country. These regions produce more than 100 different grape varieties

3. The largest wine production region is South Australia. South Australia makes about 50 percent of Australia’s wine. vineyards closer to Adelaide (the state’s capital) make wines that are considered among the country’s finest.

4. Southern regions to note:

Barossa Valley:relatively warm area famous especially for its robust Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Grenache.

Clare Valley: north of the Barossa Valley makes the country’s best Rieslings in a dry, weighty yet crisp style.

McLaren Vale: south of Adelaide, with a mild climate influenced by the sea, this region is particularly admired for its Shiraz, Cabernet, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay.

Adelaide Hills: home to rather good Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Shiraz.

Limestone Coast: Thanks to the prevalence of limestone in the soil this zone is an important area for fine wine, both red and white. Two of the six regions within the Limestone Coast zone are famous in their own right; the cool Coonawarra for some of Australia’s best Cabernet Sauvignon wines, and Padthaway for its white wines, particularly Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Riesling.

5. New South Wales isn’t all that new. It is Australia’s most populous state, and the first to grow vines; today it makes 27 percent of Australia’s wine. High-volume production of everyday wines comes from an interior area called the Riverina. Fine wine, for now, comes from three other areas:

Hunter Valley: with a warm, damp climate and heavy soils, produces long-lived Semillon as its best wine.

Mudgee: An interior area near the mountains. Mudgee specializes in reds such as Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon but also makes Chardonnay.

Orange: A cool, high-altitude area making distinctive white wines and also very good reds.

6. Up and coming regions like Western Australia and Victoria are making a play. Victoria is already doing big things. I especially like the cool climate Pinot Noir grown there. Victoria, a smaller state that makes 15 percent of Australia’s wines. Principal regions include, from north to south:

Murray River: This area stretching into New South Wales includes the Mildura region, where Lindemans, one of Australia’s largest wineries is situated.

Rutherglen: warm climate zone home of an exotic Australian specialty, fortified dessert Muscats and Tokays.

Goulburn Valley: In the center of the state, Goulburn Valley is known especially for its full-bodied reds, especially Shiraz.

Yarra Valley: boasts a wide diversity of climates due to altitude differences of its vineyards. The Yarra is noted for its Cabernet, Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc.

Mornington Peninsula and Geelong:these two cool, maritime regions specialize in fine Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

7. Western Australia, little wine compared to other states but quality is high. The warm, dry Swan Valley is the state’s historic center of wine production, but two cooler climate regions have become more important:

Margaret River: excel in are Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon blends, Chardonnay, and CabernetSauvignon.

Great Southern: Cooler than Margaret River, Great Southern’s specialty is crisp, age-worthy Riesling. diverse region produces intense, aromatic Cabernet Sauvignon as well as fine Shiraz and Chardonnay.

8. 20% of Australian wine sold are sparking and Australian “stickies”. The fruity, vividly colored red sparkling wines are mainly made from Shiraz. As for sweet wines ie Stickies the most sensual mouthwaterng and rare of the stickies are Australia’s dark, sweet fortified muscats and yokays made in the host northeast corner of Victoria.

9.New techniques and traditional methods like the ripasso technique are showing up in Australian wine makers style. Blends involving tempranillo, sangiovese and southern Rhone grape varieties are being added to grapes grown in Australia.

10. What to watch for? unexpected varietals such as viognier and sparkling wines that are light on the palate and pocket.

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