Australia has a long history of viticulture and produces some of the world’s best wines.
With more than 1500 wineries spread throughout 60 wine regions, grape varieties include the well known Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Semillon and Riesling. Lesser known varieties but just as outstanding are Verdelho, Sangiovese, Viognier, Pinot Grigio and Petit Verdot.
Australia’s five southerly states, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania produce most of the country’s wine, however Queensland is now producing wine with over 100 registered wineries in the area.
South Australia produces more than half of Australia’s wine. Major regions are the Barossa, Limestone Coast, Far North, Fleurieu, Lower Murray and Mount Lofty.
The Barossa Valley is one of Australia’s oldest wine growing regions. Located approximately 56km north east of the City of Adelaide, the region produces spectacular Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. Well known wineries found here are Mount Pleasant, Henschke, Jacobs Creek, Grant Burge Wines, Peter Lehmann Wines and Penfolds Wines.
Eden Valley is in the Barossa Ranges and shares the western border of the Barossa Valley. The region is renowned for producing great Riesling and Shiraz. Yalumba Wines, Australia’s oldest winery is located within Eden Valley.
The Limestone Coast runs from the Victorian border toward Adelaide and is probably Australia’s most famous wine producing area, with both great red and white varieties produced. Well known wineries of the area include Wynns Coonawarra, Katnook Estate, Jamiesons Run and Rymill Coonawarra.
Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia includes areas such as Kangaroo Island, McLaren Vale and Langhorne Creek. Kangaroo Island Wine Region is relatively new, and is making a name for itself producing exceptional wine with the majority of the north of the Island made up of vineyards.
Mount Lofty incorporates the regions of Adelaide Hills and the Clare Valley. There are over 50 wineries in the Mount Lofty area with the most predominant grape varieties being Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and cool crisp Chardonnay.
Victoria has several well known wine regions from the Goulburn Valley in Central Victoria, Rutherglen in North East Victoria, Swan Hill Wine Region in North West Victoria, Yarra Valley, Macedon Ranges and Mornington Peninsula in Port Phillip, and the Pyrenees Wine Region and Grampians in Western Victoria.
The Rutherglen Wine Region produces bold reds, superb fortified wines and exceptional sparkling wines. All Saints Estate and Brown Brothers, both owned by the Brown family produce outstanding wines in the area and both wineries are worth a visit.
The Yarra Valley Wine Region is probably Victoria’s most famed wine growing region. Centred around the towns Healesville, Yarra Glen, Coldstream and the historic township of Lilydale, the area offers a great range of accommodation. Wineries found here include Coldstream Hills, Acacia Ridge, Domaine Chandon Australia and Yering Station Vineyard.
New South Wales
The most renowned wine region of NSW would be the Hunter Valley. The Hunter Valley Wine Region produces superb Semillon and Shiraz and wineries such as Hungerford Hill, Peppertree, Lindemans, Brokenwood, De Bortoli and Tempus Two are found here. The centre of this region is Pokolbin, with the area providing a variety of accommodation and winery tours for visitors.
Another area that is making a name for itself within the wine industry is the NSW Central Ranges. Mudgee has a long history of making fine wine, however Cowra and Orange are now producing award winning wines. The Orange Wine Region lies between Mudgee and Cowra, with many wineries to visit. To explore this area, there is a range of accommodation in the Central Tablelands, suiting all budgets
The Swan Valley in the Perth area is the largest source of Western Australia wines producing excellent white varieties such as Verdelho, Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay. Margaret River is one of Australia’s most picturesque regions and produces excellent Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc.
The Great Southern is Australia’s largest wine producing area and includes towns such as Mount Barker, Denmark, Albany and The Franklin River. Stand out wines from this region are Rieslings, Pinot Noir and Malbec, which is often mixed with other red varieties to add depth and structure.
With Tasmania’s cooler climate, the area produces outstanding wines. Most wineries are located around Launceston's North East and Tamar Valley and Tasmania's Capital, Hobart. Because of the cooler climate, wines produced in this area are quite different to those on the mainland. White wines are dryer and much more aromatic, with beautiful sparkling Pinot Noir Chardonnay’s coming from here.
Queensland has started to make a name for itself within the wine industry, with over 100 vineyards now being registered. The most prominent areas are Ballandean and Stanthorpe within the Granite Belt Wine Region, however the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast Hinterland are also having success. Sirromet Winery is one of the award winning wineries and well worth a visit.Hero Image photo "Hunter Valley Wine Tour" - By Cre@tivity