Ever felt Australia’s allure? Great weather, stunning landscapes, beautiful beaches? Top quality TV soaps? Well, here’s another reason to visit - some seriously good wines. Wine grapes first arrived in Australia with the English in 1788. Today it is the seventh largest wine producer globally and a leading pioneer in wine innovation in the New World.
With a landmass similar to that of the USA it’s a given that Australia has a massive range of climates and geology, but at its latitude most of Australia is too hot to grow vines. Important influences on wine production in Australia are therefore cooling air currents from the sea and rivers, as well as cooler high-altitude locations. As a result Australia’s wine regions are mainly found hugging its southern coast close to the Southern or Indian Oceans where the tempered Mediterranean climate provides perfect vine-growing conditions.
In terms of top grape varieties, Australia's principal grape of either colour is Shiraz (aka Syrah), which is grown widely in most regions. Other key reds include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Grenache. Chardonnay is the most planted white grape in Australia, which is kept company by Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Semillon. With Australia’s pioneering spirit and as new viticultural regions and styles of wine continue to be explored in Australia it's an exciting time to be tucking into Australian wine!