Australian Wine Regions

Australian Wine Regions

Australian Wine Regions

Despite its relatively short history, Australia has demonstrated that it is a worthy wine country to be reckoned with. Its wine, especially the Shiraz, has achieved worldwide recognition and they are continuously producing better and more wines each year. Australia has also been able to successfully plant many different varietals of grapes, which has helped to increase the variety offered to consumers. Definitely, some of the best buys now are from Australia but prices are inching upwards as more wine lovers are discovering the high value of the wines.

Australia is basically divided into 7 major regions but only 4 are major wine producing regions. The 4 regions are Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria. Two other regions, Queensland and Tasmania also produce wine but in much smaller scale. The 4 main regions are mentioned below. At the end of this section is a selection of the best wines from Australia.

 

Facts & Figures At A Glance

No of Wineries (2014) around 2,000
Area under Vines 160,000 hectares
Winegrape Production Per Year 1,551,000 tonnes
Wine Production Per Year 1.46 billion bottles
Wine Consumption Per Year 530 million litres
Wine Exports Per Year 750 million litres
Wine Imports 537 million litres
Top Export Markets United Kingdom (238.5 ML), United States (173.6ML), Canada (51.4ML), China, PR (36.8ML) Germany (33.3ML)
Top Winegrape Varieties (tonnes) Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc, Sémillon, and Riesling

 

How to Read Australian Wine Labels

Australian wine labels are one of the easiest to read. Almost all wines are named after grape varieties although more "chic" names are given for certain popular wines. Things to watch out for includes the vintage and region where the grapes were obtained. Better wines tend to come from specified vineyards (like "Magill Vineyard") or sub-region (like "Coonwarra").

Wines which are made from a variety of  regions usually only state the state where it is from (like "South Australia"). Most of these are table wines but they can be good as well.


 

Top Picks in Australian Wines

Cabernet Sauvignon

  • Taylors Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Penfolds Koonunga Hill Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Penfolds Bin 407 Cabernet Savignon
  • Gossips Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Reschke Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon
  • St Hugo Cabernet Sauvignon

Chardonnay

  • Stonier Chardonnay
  • Vasse Felix Chardonnay
  • Penfolds Koonunga Hill Chardonnay
  • Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay
  • Petaluma White Label Chardonnay
  • Church Road Chardonnay

Merlot

  • McGuigan Black Label Merlot
  • Gossips Merlot
  • Lindeman's Cawarra Merlot
  • Yellow Tail Merlot
  • Catching Thieves Cabernet Merlot
  • Warburn Rumours Merlot

Pinot Noir

  • Bellecourt Pinot Noir
  • Cleanskin Geelong Pinot Noir
  • Ninth Island Pinot Noir
  • 42 Degrees South Pinot Noir
  • Scotchmans Hill Pinot Noir
  • Palliser Estate Pencarrow Pinot Noir

Riesling

  • Pewsey Vale Eden Valley Riesling
  • Jim Barry Watervale Riesling
  • Pikes Traditionale Riesling
  • Petaluma Hanlin Hill Riesling
  • Jacob's Creek Riesling
  • Cleanskins Taster's Choice Clare Valley Riesling

Shiraz

  • Leasingham Bin 61 Shiraz
  • Chapel Hill Parson's Nose Shiraz
  • Houghton Stripe Shiraz
  • Red Knot Shiraz
  • Wirra Wirra Sparrow's Lodge Shiraz
  • Chris Ringland Reservation Shiraz