Australia

About Australian Wine

Australia is arguably the King of the new world and almost certainly of innovation globally. The driven styles combined with the simplicity of their labelling, alongside constant redevelopment of technology and vineyard practices, has led to Australia being the sixth largest producer in the world with over 2000 wine companies within it.

Key Australian Grape Varieties and Regions
  • Clare and Eden Valley – Riesling and Shiraz
  • Barossa Valley – Shiraz
  • Coonawarra – Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Yarra Valley – Pinot Noir and Chardonnay
  • Margaret River – Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay

History

ABC may once have been the first thing that sprung to mind when you thought of Australia (Anything but Chardonnay)?! It’s fair to say Australia and Chardonnay have had a fairly chequered history and this, for a short while, attributed negative connotations to the wines.

Whilst trying to keep up with trends the wine has gone from being big bold and creamy to often crisp with fresh green fruit and of course sparkling. This variety is great for winemakers as they can do so much with it and over the years Australia has experimented with every style. It now offers a diverse range of characteristics from a multitude of terroirs that have been discovered along the way.

Of course this spreads much further than just Chardonnay; Australia is famed for its Barrosa Valley Shiraz and Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon but keeping with the innovative trend you will now find more many new and different varieties with new wave producers doing brilliant things with Grenache, Riesling, Marsanne, Durif and even the Greek Assyrtiko!

In The Vineyard

It would be easy to say that the vineyards across Australia are very varied – of course they are, with Australia comparable to the size of Europe it’s no wonder they can produce such a wide range.

The majority of the production however comes from the South East (95%) and, generally speaking, the region enjoys a moderate to hot climate, although there are pockets of microclimates which can produce wines that usually thrive in cooler climates.

This is all thanks to the cooling influences of altitude and the ocean breeze from the Southern or Indian oceans. Soil types vary from sand to clay but Australia’s most famous soil type is the terra rossa (red earth) found in the Coonawara.

Hennings Wine says

Get stuck in and explore Australia, the premium wines are fantastic but smaller producers also offer incredible value and show the stylistic profile of the wines perfectly – check out the Hesketh regional series as a great starting point.

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