Although Australia only has a two-century long tradition of wine making, its vineyards can boast of currently being the world’s leaders in quality wine production. Due to its consistent quality, it is now the world’s sixth largest producer of wine, and ranks fourth in exports.
This is, in no small part, the result of its versatile climate and geography. This versatility means that the country also possesses immense diversity in soil varieties, and thus wine sorts. The number one grape cultivated is Shiraz, closely followed by Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Semillon, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc.
It is no wonder then, that Australia can boast of having about 2000 wineries located in 60 wine regions, spread across more than 100 specific Geographic Indications. Among all of them, the best and most amazing wine regions capture the essence and quality of Australian wine.
Renowned for both its wine and food, Barossa Valley is one of the oldest wine regions in Australia. First settled in 1842, it is now home to 150 wineries and over 70 wine cellars. It owes its success to the distinct growing conditions, ranging from higher cool-climate areas to lower, warmer vineyards from where its world class Shiraz originates. The best way to get a full taste of Barossa Valley is by going on its wine trails, which also offer quality local breads, meats and cheese to accompany the wine. While the full specter of its old-world charm can be truly appreciated during the annual Cellar Door Wine Festival.
Situated in the state of Victoria, Yarra Valley is fusion of small family-owned vineyards and large modern estates. Due to its cool climate, it is home to Australia’s best selection of Pinot Noir and sparkling wine. Apart from that, the valley has an old and renowned reputation for making exceptional beer and cider. Furthermore, the Yarra Valley Food Trail offers freshwater fish, caviar, and an assortment of locally-made cheese. Also, the Healesville Sanctuary for wildlife native to Australia is yet another appealing side to this spectacular region.
McLaren Vale is the origin of South Australia’s wine production. Rich in history, it hosts some of the world’s oldest grape vines, planted as far back as 1838. With its Mediterranean climate, its 65 wineries and 270 independent grape growers specializes in producing the best quality Shiraz, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache. Probably the best way to get the feel of the region is via the Shiraz Trail, following the old railway line from McLaren Vale to Willunga. In addition, the Vale is also home to some of Australia’s best restaurants.
Established in 1820 in New South Wales, Hunter Valley is Australia’s oldest wine region. Today, it is home to 150 wineries which make world-class Semillon, but also cabernet sauvignon and verdehlo. Only two-hours from Sydney, the Valley is rich in history and culture. Numerous festivals, operas and jazz performances are held in the heart of the region, the beachside town of Newcastle. Stunning Lake St. Claire provides an ideal place to relax and go swimming or sailing, and makes an excellent backdrop to the quality restaurants situated on its shores.
If you are unfamiliar with Australian wine, wherever you are in the world, companies such as Bootleggers provide an ample way to buy, taste, and fall in love with the best wines Australia has to offer. And when you fall in love with the wine, you will surely want to pack your bags and visit some of these amazing wine regions in the Land Down Under.