Wines of Australia

12th September 2017

The Australian wine industry is the fifth largest exporter of wine behind France, Italy, Spain, and Chile, with around 750 million litres a year going to the international export market with only around 40% of production consumed domestically. Being such a large supplier, it’s time to know more about the production of wines from the other side of the world.

red wine, wine festival
The History of Australian Wine

Australia isn’t home to native wine grapes, yet the continent is one of the biggest wine capitals of the world. To produce wine, grapevines had to be imported from other regions, and this first occurred in 1788, the year which marked the beginning of wine making in Australia. By the 1820s, the Australian commercial wine industry was well established and flourishing.

In 1833, major influences began impacting the early wine production with the introduction of varietals from France and Spain, with the French grape Shiraz becoming the most famous aspect of the Australian wine industry across the global markets.

It took a century since wine grapes were first introduced to Australia for them to gain a worldwide reputation. During a blind taste at the 1873 Vienna Exhibition, French judges praised some wines from Victoria, but they withdrew their remarks when they discovered the wine was Australian and not French with the judges stating that “wines of that quality must clearly be French.”

Blind wine tasting on white, masked labels of wine bottles, selective focus

Most Famous Australian Wines

Australia’s main vineyard produce is Shiraz, followed by Chardonnay. These two varieties make up 44% of the total wine production. Australian wines are some of the most well-known in the world with over seventy varieties of wine grown in Australia., Here are, however, some of the major wines produced:

  • Shiraz
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Chardonnay
  • Merlot
  • Semillon
  • Pinot Noir
  • Riesling
  • Sauvignon Blanc

Top Australia Wine Regions

There are three major wine regions in Australia: South Australia and New South Wales, both of which are famous for their warm climate varieties such as Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, and Victoria, which is known for the cool climate wine Pinot Noir.

Adelaide is the largest wine growing region in Australia and it’s situated near Barossa Valley, which is South Australia’s most prestigious growing area. Barossa Valley is a unique region due to its isolation from the rest of the world, and it’s also home to some of the oldest living vineyards in the world. South Australia produces wines such as Old Vine Shiraz and red blends such as GSM Grenache.

Inland Big River Zone is the major production in New South Wales, producing much of the commercial Chardonnay and Shiraz from Australia. Due to droughts, wine grape growers have been experimenting with drought friendly varieties like Tempranillo and Verdelho.

The cool climate areas in Victoria are known for their Pinot Noir, and the commercial winemaking in North West Victoria makes up the majority of wine production in the entire region.

Australian wine is marketed and consumed globally, our wine cellars and wine rooms ensure your collection is kept in the top condition. To find out more about our services at Spiral Cellars, get in touch with a member of our team today by calling 0203 815 3329 or emailing info@spiralcellars.com.