Australia has enjoyed many years of producing world famous wines, with the highest level of wine consumption of any English speaking nation. Even though Australia did not escape the Phylloxera outbreak, its wine industry eventually recovered to become one of the best in the world.
Like California, Australia benefits from experimenting with new technologies and unconventional methods of producing wine. Many people feel that the wine makers of Australia contain a mixture of blind enthusiasm and technical knowledge, helping to make some the most individual and flavourful wines of the world.
New South Wales is one of the most successful wine regions in Australia. The Hunter Valley in this area grows about sixty different varieties of grapes. Unfortunately, this region is very hot and many grapes rot before they are harvested. The wines of this valley are also said to have a distinct taste that some individuals refer to as the “sweaty saddle.” Despite this strange description, the wines of the Hunter Valley are high quality and sought after throughout the world.
During the 19th century, Victoria was the largest producer of wine in Australia. The Phylloxera outbreak devastated the vineyards of Victoria, which did not really begin to recover until fifteen years ago. Victoria has a very modern collection of grapes that are mixed with Bordeaux varieties, producing wines that are fragrant, full and minty. This wine industry is again growing and promises to be very important to the wine world in the next few years.
About 60% of Australia’s wine is produced in South Australia. The red soil in the Coonawara region has minerals that produces wines that are very rich in flavour and texture. A large number of Australia’s most famous table wines come from this area and its wines are known throughout the world.
Recently Tasmania has begun to develop vineyards. Although these vineyards are very new, they are expected to produce quality wines in the near future.
Located just north of Adelaide in the south-east region of Australia, this is one of the older areas for growing wine. North Adelaide was planted in 1837. The climate here is hot and dry, and produces great, traditional reds. Intriguingly, the valley was originally known as Barrossa with two Rs, but clerical errors led to the loss of one of the letters in the name.
This valley’s wineries are known for their Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Located just north of the Barossa Valley, the Clare Valley is the northernmost vine area in the South Australian appellation. It is hotter and drier than most other vineyards in Australia, and the low irrigation used creates very strongly flavored wines.
The Clare Valley makes good Riesling as well as Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Loated on the west coast of the southeastern leg of Australia, Coonawarra is the most southerly vine area in thse South Australian appellation. This region creates delicious wines with its limestone subsoil and low heat.
Coonawarra is most well known for its Cabernet Sauvignon.
This region is on the eastern coast of Australia, near Sydney. Vines were first planted here in teh 1820s. It was originally known for very strong flavored Shiraz, but recently newer wines such as Rosemount’s Reserve Chardonnay have brought new attention to this region.
The Hunter Valley is known for its Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
This region is barely south of Adelaide, and encompasses an area that has a variety of soil types. This allows a variety of grapes to grow, and for each grape to take on a range of flavors. It can produce full reds, fresh whites, and even dessert wines.
The McLaren Vale is known for its Sauvignon Blanc. It also creates Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.