As for many countries from the “New World”, viticulture in Australia appeared quite recently, at the beginning of the 19th century.
However, its production has considerably increased in the last three centuries, and Australia is now one of the largest wine exporting-producers in the world!
As a country-continent, there are many different types of landscapes and climates. This richness enables winemakers to create wines from multiple terroirs and grape varieties. Wine production takes place in all the states of the country and particularly on the coast, in order to benefit from a more Mediterranean climate.
In 2021, the vineyards covered about 146,000 ha, before being partly burnt down during the major incendies that ravaged Australia.
Australia is well known for its Shiraz grapes and wines.
It is the most important grape variety there, especially in the Hunter Valley and Barossa Valley regions. The wines made from Australian Shiraz are woody, powerful, and robust wines with aromatic notes of ripe fruits, leather and earth wood spices.
Bordeaux grapes too, are quite a thing in Australia, as for Cabernet Sauvignon, which is mainly cultivated in the great regions of Coonawarra (one of the great terroirs of choice for Cabernet Sauvignon thanks to the Terra Rossa), Margaret River and Clare Valley ; as well as for Merlot grapes, which are mostly cultivated in McLaren Vale.
The GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre) is getting famous too. In fact, some of the oldest Grenache vines are located in Australia. Winemakers are able to reveal the most beautiful and concentrated expressions of this grape variety.
Pinot Noir is also cultivated in southern Australia, Yarra Valley, Tasmania, Adelaide Hills and Mornington Peninsula, and is mainly used in the sparkling wines.
Chardonnay, for the white wines, is the most common grape variety. The australian chardonnay wines are of great quality, with complexity and a beautiful ageing potential.
Semillon is one of Australia’s most iconic styles. It gives very subtle dry wines with outstanding ageing potential, especially in the Hunter Valley.
Riesling from the Eden Valley or the Clare Valley are excellent and aromatic.
Australia also produces dessert wines and sparkling wines of great quality.