Australian Wine Regions

Some of the key wine growing areas in Australia include;

  • Barossa Valley: The Barossa Valley is north east of Adelaide, South Australia, and has a hot climate. Penfolds is one of the more famous wineries in this region. Barossa is renowned for its Rieslings which is indicative of the Valley's German heritage, and for the reds such as Shiraz and Cabernets.
  • Hunter Valley: The Hunter Valley is another hot area and is located north of Sydney, New South Wales. This area is within easy reach of Sydney for a day trip or you can stay overnight at one of the many bed and breakfasts. Some of the more notable vineyards include Rosemount, and Rothbury. A variety of wines are grown in the Hunter Valley, including Shiraz and Semillon. As well as visiting the larger vineyards, you will want to check out some of the smaller boutique wines.
  • Clare Valley: The Clare Valley is a cooler growing area located in South Australia, north of Adelaide. This is an area of four interconnecting valleys, the Clare, Polish River, Watervale and Skillogallee. The main wines from the Clare Valley are the whites such as Riesling, Chardonnay and Semillon.
  • Coonawarra: Coonawarra lies to the south east of Adelaide and is more noted for it's reds such as Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. The area has a cooler climate and is also noted for is reddish coloured terra rossa soil. Penfolds grows some its grapes here for some of its Cabernets. One of the more popular wines from this region includes the Wynns Coonawarra Estate.
  • Yarra Valley: The Yarra Valley is located in Victoria, north east of Melbourne. It has a temperate climate and is noted for making the cooler climate varietals. The Pinot Noir is popular here and one of the better wines that we have tried from this area is Coldsteam Hills.

    This is just a sampling of the wine growing regions in Australia. Wines are also grown in Western Australia in the Swan Valley and Margaret River, the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, McLaren Vale and Padthaway in South Australia and also in Tasmania. More information is also available for wine growing regions in South Australia and New South Wales.

    Today, Australia produces many of the best traditional wines such as Cabernets and Chardonnays and they also have a flair for being experimental. There are varieties such as the Pinot Chardonnay which are becoming more popular and an ever increasing number of un-wooded wines that are fermented in steel vats.

    Currently, Australian wines are exported to 77 countries and sales exceeded $1 billion in 1999 for the first time. There were 612 million litres produced and 38% was exported to countries such as the U.K., United States, Germany, New Zealand and Canada. Exports rose 12% compared with the 1998-99 season. In 1999, there were more red grape varieties planted than white and record amounts of grapes were crushed. Of all the grapes grown in Australia, 85% went to wine production. The total area of vines increased in all states with South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria leading the way.

    The main wines produced are Chardonnays, followed by the Shiraz. Others include the Pinot Noir, Grenache, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Semillon, Riesling and the Sauvignon Blanc.

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