the historical home of Australian wine, the Hunter Valley in New South Wales, a journey across Australia’s wine regions is filled with a diversity of climates, soils, elevation and – ultimately – wine styles.
The Barossa was originally settled by Silesian Lutheran farmers in the 1830s and there are now more than 50 wineries and cellar doors in the region, ranging from small family enterprises to international companies.
Clare is not only famous for Riesling; it also produces award-winning Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz that vary dramatically in style throughout the region depending on vineyard location, soils and elevation.
Settlers from England, Ireland and Poland arrived in the region in the 1840s and wasted no time planting vines. Today visitors to the region can enjoy the popular Riesling Trail, a 27 km long sealed track that links the many small towns along the valley.
Founded by Scottish settler John Riddoch more than a 150 years ago, Coonawarra offers wines of intense and classic fruit flavours that have won the hearts of consumers the world over.
Most Coonawarra Cabernets will effortlessly cellar for at least 10 years, but that’s not the only variety the region is famous for. Other award winning varietals are Shiraz, Merlot and Chardonnay.
More recently, Heathcote winemakers have planted Viognier, small proportions of which are blended with Shiraz to provide an extra dimension to the flavour spectrum. Heathcote Cabernet Sauvignon is another signature style of the region. Italian varieties Sangiovese and Nebbiolo are also taking to their new home and provide added treasures to the region’s reputation.
Aromatic white wine varieties such as Riesling, Viognier and Pinot Grigio display the underlining elegance and
fine fruit structure that is characteristic of the region.
Since those pioneering days, the Hunter’s wine industry has flourished and now more than 80 wineries and cellar doors are open to tourist traffic en route from Sydney.
Winemakers in the Hunter have found success with varieties such as Shiraz, Verdelho and Chardonnay, but no other region has developed such an affinity with Semillon.
Semillons from the Hunter Valley have great capacity for graceful ageing, particularly in the years when the region defies its sub-tropical climate and turns on summer weather to bring on lime and citrus flavours.
There are now more than 50 wineries and cellar doors in the region. McLaren Vale’s leading reds are Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache and Merlot, while whites include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling.
The region has the added tourism drawcards of breathtaking coastal scenery and culinary delights to match its extensive range of wine styles, including Shiraz, Verdelho and the wonderfully herbaceous Sauvignon Blanc.
A number of large national wine companies have set up shop in the region, complimenting the array of boutique wineries that offer a diverse range of wine styles.
Powerful Cabernet Sauvignon, with complex flavours and ageing potential, is a regional highlight. Chardonnay is the Mudgee’s most popular and highly regarded white.
Tasmania, known for its spectacular beauty, now has more than 60 vineyards and wineries, many of them just a few hectares in size.
Tasmania’s cool maritime climate produces elegant wines with excellent natural acid. Specialist varieties include Pinot Noir for sparkling and still wine, Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Grigio, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.
Chardonnay is the Yarra Valley's most widely planted
white grape variety due to its flexibility of style – from complex, oaked wines to elegant restrained styles, Chardonnay is often made using traditional winemaking techniques.
Other white wines produced in the Yarra include Gewürztraminer, Marsanne and Sauvignon Blanc, which is often blended with Semillon.
To learn more: http://www.wineaustralia.com
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