Australia Wines



Australia Wines

When it comes to technical know-how, the Australians are streets ahead of the peak. Wine was being commercially produced here as long ago as 1850 but in modern times Australia has become one of the most successful wine-producing countries in the world.

At the top end of the market, an emphasis is being placed on more regional wines from places like Orange and Wrattonbully. Many of the new sites are in cooler areas, where the grapes provide better levels of natural acidity and aromatics. Australia built its reputation on wines showing ripe fruit flavors, often accompanied by noticeable use of oak, and in today's commercial middle ground, there's an enormous amount of wine being made to a standardized recipe, all backed up by full-throttle marketing.

Regions

The main wine-producing regions are near the cities of PErth in Western Australia, Adelaide in South Australia, Melbourne in Victoria, and Sydney in New South Wales. The climate tends to be hot, so irrigation is often necessary. The vast size of the country means that the states provide different growing conditions.

Some of Australia's most elegant wines are made in the relatively cool climate of Western Australia. White wines from the Chardonnay, Sémillon, Riesling, and Verdelho grapes have been successful. along with 'Bordeaux Blends' from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

South Australia includes the premium regions of the Barossa Valley, Coonawarra, and Adelaide Hills. Barossa Shiraz is world-famous for its inky, concentrated style, whilst Coonawarra, with its cooler climate and Terra Rossa soil, provides ideal conditions for some of Australia's outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon wines. The Adelaide Hills vineyards, situated at 450 meters above sea level, are proving to be a prime area for Riesling, Pinot Noir and bottle-fermented sparkling wines.

A great range of wines is produced in Victoria, including the unique liqueur Muscats. The Yarra Valley benefits from one of the coolest climates in Australia, resulting in fine Pinot Noirs, Rieslings, Chardonnays, and Cabernet Sauvignons. Australia's ultimate cool climate location however, is Tasmania. The island is home to some of the very best Pinot Noirs.

Hunter Valley

In New South Wales, the lower and upper Hunter Valley, located north of Sydney, has established itself as an area of 'classic' wines such as Sémillon and Shiraz. Both of these can develop with bottle age. The area of Orange is rapidly becoming known for its excellent cool climate wines while the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area (MIA), which produces mostly commercial blends but with a smattering of extremely good botrytised wines, makes ten per cent of all Australian wine.


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