Wine Australia: Guide to the country’s finest wine growing areas

Australia wines grace tables all around the world, including some of the best-known brand names and world class examples of both red and white styles such as Shiraz from the Barossa Valley and Riesling from Clare Valley.

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Although the country is a similar size to the United States, most wines of Australia are produced in clusters of vineyards around the south-eastern and south-western fringes where the cooler coastal climate encourages viticulture.

There are around 130 different grapes used by commercial growers to produce an extremely diverse range of wines – where the leading varietals are Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot for the Australian red wines, while Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling dominate the Australian white wines. The dramatic success of Shiraz (known elsewhere as Syrah) gave Australia wine a leading role to play on the international stage, which has led to a supporting cast of top Australian wines of different styles to successfully audition in recent years.

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Most of the country’s leading vineyards are concentrated around the city of Adelaide in South Australia – including Barossa Valley, Adelaide Hills, Eden Valley, Clare Valley and McLaren Vale. New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and even the small island of Tasmania also contribute significantly to the Australian wine industry.

Traditionally, Australia wine was produced with blends of grapes from more than one region, although as the wine industry in Australia has matured winemakers are concentrating on particular regional strengths – for instance, Shiraz from the Barossa Valley and Semillon from Hunter Valley. Compared to their more confusing French cousins, Australian wine labels are simple to understand, with most including the winery name, grape or blend of grapes, vintage and the regional destinations.

There are almost 2,500 wineries making wine from Australia, although around 90% of the country’s entire production comes from only a handful, while smaller boutique estates in the premium districts compete for their share of what remains in the market.

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A Wine Paths, our local experts can arrange exclusive Australia wine tours across the country’s main regions, which include elaborate tastings, luxury accommodation, gourmet cuisine and unique experiences. All of our private tours can be tailormade to meet your exact requirements, ensuring every detail is taken care of so that you can relax and enjoy the matter at hand – sampling exceptional wines while surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty.

A large Australian wine company will have access to the finest vineyards, with the leading Australian wine brands being:

Tyrrell’s remains a family owned business despite growing considerably since debuting its first vintage in 1864. Based in the Hunter Valley, near Sydney, Tyrell’s produced Australia wine’s first Chardonnay in 1971, the iconic Vat 47, while it’s most renowned bottle is the Vat 1 Semillon.

Based in the Barossa Valley and named after a garrulous German wine-maker, Wolfblass is one of the most recognisable Australian wine brands. The company’s most distinctive wines are Riesling varietals from the Clare and Eden Valleys in South Australia.

Penfolds is renowned for its Australian red wines, that epitomise the country’s robust style. The company’s Grange Shiraz is highly regarded and expensive, but connoisseurs rate the St Henri Shiraz for its elegance and fine tannins.

Finally, Rosemount Estate is arguably the fastest rising Australian wine company. Since being established in 1969, its premium wines and clever marketing techniques have seen wine sales in Australia and beyond soar.

Contact Wine Paths for more inspiration before planning an exclusive tour of Australia wine regions.

 

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