Australia is a green continent, which supplies the international market not only with cotton, sheep's wool and meat, but also with high-quality wines. As opposed to other world leaders, wine has only been made in Australia for little more than 100 years. The first vines were planted here in the late 19th century. In the middle of the 20th century winemaking reached an industrial scale, and only in the last 20-30 years has the Australian wine industry made a leap forward in the overall quality of their wines. Today, all international grape varieties are successfully cultivated here. Australian producers have learnt from the success of others, and practise the same techniques as other large wine producing nations such as France
and Italy. The taste and quality of Australian brands is regularly confirmed by some of the toughest and most prominent critics.
More than half of the vineyards in Australia are concentrated in the southern part of the vast country, where there is more of a mild subtropical climate, while much of central Australia is arid and dry. The oldest and most important wine region is in the Barossa Valley. Here, viticulturists make red wines derived from international varieties that compete with some of the old-world master winemakers for quality.
Southern Australian winemakers must be sure to monitor their crop carefully. In spite of the favourable natural conditions, the grapes ripen fairly quickly and can over ripen overnight. Just as in each of the prominent winemaking nations, Australia also has its hallmark in a grape variety called Shiraz (Syrah). From it deep and elegant red wines are produced, this variety is also highly resilient and resistant to heat.
The range of red wines grown in Australia includes Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Merlot Semillon, while Chardonnay and Riesling grow in the cooler regions.
The Coonawarra region makes world-class red wines; the Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon is a particular stand-out variety. The Eden Valley is famous for its white wines from Chardonnay and Riesling. In the Adelaide hills great quality sparkling wines are produced (in all, 90 private wineries are located here). As many as 600 wineries operate in Victoria state; many of them have survived from the 19th century.
In Australia, a huge variety of wine is produced. Each variety of wine tastes different depending on the region in which the grapes were grown. If you would like to get to know the real taste of Australia, we recommend you begin with a Shiraz or a white Semillon.