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Home Wine Regions The Wine Regions of Australia

The Wine Regions of Australia

Australia's wine industry goes as far back as the 1850s, although it didn't really pick up until about three decades ago. Since that time, Australia has become one of the big producers of white and red wines in the world.

The climate in Australia is similar to the climate in California so it isn't surprising to see that many of the wine grape varieties in Australia's wine regions mirror the popular varieties found in California. However, Australian wine makers added a number of varieties that are distinctively Australian.

Among the popular wine grapes in the Australia wine regions is Shiraz (or Syrah), used to create powerful red wines. Shiraz is grown in Rutherglen, a small town in Victoria. Rutherglen is also where fortified wines are produced: muscat, port, and Tokay.

There are also other world-class wine producers in Victoria in the Pyrenees. Since the early part of the 1960s, the Pyrenees region has more  than 30 vineyards covering almost 600 hectares of land. Here about 25 varieties of wine grapes are grown. Red wines that come from this region include Merlot, Shiraz, and Pinot Noir. White wines include Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.

The Mornington Peninsula was once largely made up of apple orchards. Today this region is a wine enthusiast's dream. It boasts of more than 60 wineries, and many of these wineries are open to the public for tasting. This is where the Pinot Noir is produced.

McLaren Vale is another one of the wine regions in Australia. It is bordered by the Sellicks Hill Range in the south and Gulf Saint Vincent in the west. It has a Mediterranean climate along with a dry summer. This Australian wine region rarely suffers drought or frost. It is the perfect place for growing wine grapes as it has long, hot days and short, cool nights.

Many of the vines in this region still produce wine grapes 100 years after they were first planted. The combination of soil and climate in this region, plus modern wine making methods, make it the perfect place to produce wine with superior aging qualities.

This Australian wine region is regarded as among the top Shiraz producers. Harvest is between March to early April. The grapes are smaller than your average grapes, enabling vintners to produce wines that are complex and intense. Aside from Shiraz, Grenache and Cabernet are also produced here.

The Clare Valley is one of the oldest, and most scenic, Australian wine regions. Irish and English settlers came here in the 1840s, and much of the architecture here reflect those early settler days. This regions has a continental climate. Its summer days are hot, its nights cool. Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz come from the grapes here, although its award-winning Riesling is grown here also.