Wines of Australia
Australia is home to and well-known for many different things. The list could go on and on from the Sydney Opera House to kangaroos, koala bears, and beautiful rainforests. Another big item that the unique country can add to the list of beautiful wonders is the wines of Australia. Australia is well known for its’ diverse and incredible climates, which produce an abundance of excellent wines. The wines in Australia are greatly admired due to their identifiable and unique characteristics. Each wine is a unique product of the different regions that exist, making these wines a true discovery of the land. From red to white to sparkling wine, Australia has incredible tasting wine by style and region. To ensure that you understand the wines of Australia, keep reading.
The History of the Grape Vines
The first vines of Australia arrived in 1788; they came on board the First Fleet. James Busby is known as the pioneer of Australian wine. In 1831 Busby traveled to Europe and sourced new varieties to bring back to Australia. All the grapevines sourced did not make it back to Australia. Out of 650 sorts, only 362 made it back with Busby. These varieties were planted in various areas across Australia, such as Sydney, Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia. These 362 grape varieties left a long-lasting impression as they were used for centuries after this. The history of the old vines is traced back to Busby's original collection of the 362 vines. Australia grows a wide range of grapes. Different grapes produce different tasting wines, which Australia is identified for making. Examples of different types of grapes include grenache, riesling, and cabernet sauvignon, to name a few.
The Climates of Australia
Australia is an extremely large area; it, therefore, has many individual regions with differing climates. The diverse environment is what contributes to the wide options when it comes to wine. To understand how the different wine is produced, the key regions need to be examined to understand the geographical distinctions.
Australian Wine Regions
Australian wines are produced over various regions:
- New South Wales
- South Australia
- Western Australia
New South Wales
This is the oldest region in Australia where grapes were grown. This area surrounds Sydney and contains some of the most reputable grape growing areas, such as the Barossa Valley region. Barossa is also surrounded by two areas which are well known for their white wine; Clare Valley and Eden Valley. Clare Valley produces elegant Rieslings, and Eden valley provides dry and mineral Rieslings.
Queensland is close to tropical areas, which are believed not to produce good quality wines. However, it has been noted that the higher altitudes of the inland mountain ranges had intense volcanic soils. If grapevines are planted high enough in these areas, they can produce excellent tasting wine. Wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay can be made in these areas. Top-quality vineyards can be grown in these regions under this specific climate.
South Australia is responsible for about half of the country's annual wine production. Vineyards in this area contain irrigation water and various types of soils, refreshing sea breezes, and perfect altitudes. This is the ideal location for a vineyard as a wide range of wines can be produced. South Australia also consists of some of the most established and popular wine estates and a few historical vineyards. The presence of the Murray River contributes to the ideal conditions that exist in this area. This river provides a great water stream, which affects the surrounding environment to create original and fantastic tasting wine.
Tasmania has a cool climate in which incredible sparkling wines, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir are made. Tasmania is an island state which is just off the coast of Australia. The first mercantile vineyards were planted in 1865; these vineyards produce some of the most renowned sparkling wines.
Victoria is the second smallest state in Australia; however, it contains more individual wineries than any other state in the country. It has a diverse climate, which makes it easy to produce a variety of wine styles. This regional climate caters to almost every wine style, such as sparkling wine, Pinot Noir, Shiraz, sweet wine, and fortified wines.
Western Australia consists of the entire western third of the continent and is the largest state in Australia. The south-west and great southern land divisions are where the winemaking regions are situated.
Common White Wines in Australia
The common white wine varieties are:
- Sauvignon Blanc
White wine as a category on its own has many options. Whether you are in the mood for a wispy and crisp taste or a textured, mouth-filling flavor, there are plenty of thirst-quenching options to choose from.
Common Red Wines in Australia
The common red wine varieties include:
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Pinot Noir
- Shiraz or Syrah
There are different varieties of red wine available, depending on the type of taste you prefer. There are options available for people who like bold flavors, spicy and savory tastes, and bright and bouncy red wine.
Australian Sparkling Wine
The most popular sparkling wines are:
- Sparkling Shiraz
- Methode Chapenoise or Tasmanoise
Sparkling wine is fizz filled, bubbly wine. It is a huge export category in Australia; thus, creating a great deal of trade and business opportunities. There are fruitier tastes available as well as tannic and off-dry red flavors. Sparkling wine is a great choice to start with if you would like to dive into the wine world and are uncertain of where to begin.
Wine covers a broad spectrum of available drinks. If none of the mentioned wines suit your fancy, there are bound to be available alternatives that are going to.
The Final Verdict
It is evident that Australia is a master when it comes to the wine department. Whatever type of wine you would like to taste, you can most definitely find it in Australia. The rich diversity and authentic regions result in delicious wine catering to anybody’s pallet. Be sure to add visiting a vineyard and going wine tasting when planning your Australian wine tasting trip. Therefore, what is your choice going to be? Red, white or sparkling?