What’s up with wines down under?

The Juice
featuring double gold winner Taylor Made Pinot Noir Rosé from Adelaide Hills

Australia is really big in the wine game even though it might not get as much attention as France, Italy, Spain, or even the US when it comes to it. According to Statista, Australia had the sixth highest wine production in the world in 2020. We thought it was time to shed some light on the amazing wines that come from this part of the world.

Which wines are popular

Even though Australia is often thought of as miles of dry lands, there is also vast lushness. The varied soils are integral to the over 100 different grape varieties that come out of the country’s 65 designated wine regions. Wine is produced in every state of Australia, although the majority is produced in the south, where temperatures are cooler, such in South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania and Queensland. 

Australia has no native grapes; varieties were introduced from Europe and South Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries. The main varietals we see coming out of Australia are . The major varieties are predominantly Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Semillon, Pinot Noir, Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc. 

What are the wines like?

Bold, full-bodied reds: Warm-climate Shiraz and Coonawarra Cabernet

Because of the amount of sun in Australia, there is no lack of robust red wines. This is 

the wine that Australia is known for, with Shiraz being the country’s most planted grape.

Spicy/savory, medium-bodied reds: Cool-climate Shiraz, Coastal Cabernet, South Australian Grenache

Australia’s cooler climate wine regions produce medium-bodied reds with fruity flavors 

and a variety of spicy, savory, or floral notes. 

Bright, light-bodied reds: Cool-climate Pinot Noir

These wines are made for easy-drinking. They are light and refreshing and can be found 

anywhere in Australia, although they are best found in the cooler-climate regions. The 

Australian Pinot had many notes of berries and spices.

Crisp light-to-medium-bodied white: Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Sauvignon-Semillon Blends

Australian Riesling is incredibly popular and unmistakable. It’s known to be dry and 

citrusy with a sharp acidity. The Sauvingon Blanc you will find has an herbaceousness 

that is contrasted with tropical fruit notes and balanced acidity. This grape might also be blended with Semillon for more weight and complexity.

Medium-to-full-bodied whites: Chardonnay and Hunter Valley Semillon

With Australia’s most popular white wine, Chardonnay, you can look forward to a range

of flavors from creamy, oaky, and fruity to citrusy and crisp. Chardonnay can be found all over Australia, but look for it in cool-climate regions. Similarly, the Semillon from Hunter Valley is aged for six year or longer earning it shap acidity, fruit notes and grassy aromas.

Written by Baharan Abdollahi

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