Admit it, regardless you are a wine beginner or connoisseur, you have tasted Australian Wine before. With an annual production of more than 1 billion liters and over 60% of it is exported overseas, the Aussie certainly offer some of the best wines in the world. Wine industry is no doubt contributing to local economy through production that basically flourishes in almost every state. It is blessed with diverse climates and terroirs in over 60 regions, planting more than 130 types of grapes, from Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Semillon and Riesling, just to name a few.
One might ask, with so many regions, grape varieties and kaleidoscopic styles, where should I begin? Let us find out more on these 8 must-try star production areas and their signature grape variety to unfold the beauty of Australian wine!
Located in South Australia, the Barossa Valley is regarded as one of the Australia’s best wine-producing regions. The warm continental climate promotes production with long daylight and diurnal temperature variations which tend to deliver intense fruitiness in grapes.
Shiraz, as the mainstay in the region often centers around the unmistakable aromas of powerfully ripe blackberry, chocolate and spices. Being the crown jewel in Australia wine biz, as well as home for world proclaiming icons like Penfolds, Seppeltsfield & Wolf Bass, one shall not neglect that Barossa have also preserved the world oldest Shiraz vines. These low-yielding old vines absorb more nutrients deep into its root, which in turn bringing a much bigger, bolder and better style and flavor richness in wine, making Barossa Valley fondly pursue by wine lovers around the globe.
Tucked away in the Mount Lofty Ranges and Gulf St Vincent is the cradle of South Australia wines. The Mediterranean climate with warm, dry summers and distinct seasons has blessed McLaren Vale, bringing flavorfully fruity grapes to this region.
While focusing on the high-quality Shiraz, Grenache is also something not to be missed. This regular awardee in world wine festivals has been winning hearts and applause from wine critics. On top of its excellent reviews, Australian wine critic, James Halliday even named Grenache as the McLaren Vale’s “secret weapon”, not only as the best in country, but a match with production in Rhône in terms of their outstanding aroma, color, taste and alcohol concentration.
Clare Valley is known as one of the oldest wine-producing regions and hometown of Riesling in Australia. Although this area might not own as much wineries as Barossa Valley or McLaren Vale with merely 30 wineries, mostly small-scale family-owned, it has an important position in the industry with their 160 years of winemaking history in producing some of the finest Riesling that earned itself the “the monarch of Australia’s riesling regions” acknowledged by James Halliday.
Local climate is mild in day with plummeting temperature at night. With vineyards are generally located at an altitude of 400-500 meters, the cold and breezy nights have allowed the grapes to ripe in more evenly and slowly speed, which is particularly suitable for Riesling. As a grape that offers great variety Riesling is used to make dry whites or wines with different degrees of sweetness. Among Clare Valley, dry Rieslings is popular for its fresh citrus and apple aromas, while showing a complex savory and fruity flavor that balances by natural acidity.
Situated in the heart of Limestone Coast, Coonawarra is one of Australia’s most prestige regions that synonymous with world renowned quality Cabernet Sauvignon. Immersed into the Mediterranean climate with dry and mild summers, but cold nights, the layering clouds is good to keep vineyards at a cool temperature to retain acidity in vines.
Iron-rich clay soil have garnered the name “Terra Rossa” for their iconic red color, in which, is particularly favorable in harvesting rich and well-structured Cabernet Sauvignon. Cabernet-based wines from the region offer up dominating eucalyptus aroma and rich in blackcurrant and cedar flavors. The wines are medium to full-bodied with have high cellaring potential.